A timeless, terrifying tale of one man’s obsession to create life—and the monster that became his legacy.
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of devoted science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life, and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts; but upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Dr. Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science-fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation, genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.
Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was born to well-known parents: author and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and philosopher William Godwin.Unfortunately, Wollstonecraft died as the result of Mary's birth. Mary was raised by her father and a much resented stepmother. When Mary was sixteen, she met the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a devotee of her father's teachings. In 1816, the two of them travelled to Geneva to stay with Lord Byron. One evening, while they shared ghost stories, Lord Byron proposed that they each write a ghost story of their own. Frankenstein was Shelley’s contribution.
Other works include Mathilda, The Last Man, and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley died in 1851 at the age of fifty-three.