Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

A Novel

by Peter Ackroyd

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in London in 1797. As the daughter of the feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and William Godwin, a political philosopher and an early anarchist proponent, Mary was born into a family that challenged social norms and encouraged innovative thinking. For much of her life she was haunted by the memory of her mother, who died soon after giving birth to her daughter. For Mary, her mother's death was a burden, and a source of blame and resentment by her father.

When Mary was sixteen years old she was introduced to Percy Bysshe Shelley, a poet, philosopher, and political disciple of Mary's father. Though Percy was already married at the time, he and Mary quickly fell in love and eloped to France. Subsequently, they were ostracized and ridiculed by Mary's family and the intellectual community in England. Mary and Percy's hopes for children proved increasingly bleak, as Mary suffered through numerous miscarriages and infant deaths. In 1822 Percy drowned off the coast of Italy, leaving her to care for their only surviving child, Percy Florence.

Eights years after her elopement, Mary returned to England, impoverished and socially embarrassed by the scandals of her unconventional life. She continued to work as a writer to support herself and her son, and she published poems, a mythological drama, short tales, encyclopedia articles, essays, reviews, travel books, and novels. Themes of isolation, terror, motherhood, and inadequacy permeate many of her works. Her greatest achievement was and still is considered to be Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (usually simplified to simply Frankenstein), which weaves together mythology, Biblical stories, science, the gothic genre, and Mary Shelley's own personal and literary history.

This article was originally published in November 2009, and has been updated for the September 2010 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...
  • Book Jacket
    Smoke
    by Dan Vyleta
    In Dan Vyleta's universe, set in an alternate Victorian England, people engaging in sinful thought ...

Who Said...

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.