The origin of the novel Frankenstein is the stuff of legend. Mary Shelley, only eighteen years old and married to the atheist Percy Bysshe Shelley, formulated a story of a man and his evil creation for a parlor game between herself, her husband, and their friend, Lord Byron. As the horror story grew into a bigger and more complicated novel, Shelley sought the aid of her husband to help her edit and revise it for publication. In many ways, Frankenstein was born out of a collaborative, creative process. Now, almost 200 years after the first publication of Frankenstein in 1818, Peter Ackroyd is joining the party. Ackroyd's postmodern version allows the character, Victor Frankenstein, to meet the author, Shelley. This reinvention of a classic is faintly reminiscent of the moment in Shelley's Frankenstein when the creature discovers Milton's Paradise Lost and identifies with the fall of man. ...
Above: Drawing by Theodore Von Holst. Frontispiece to the first illustrated edition of Frankenstein published by Colburn and Bentley, London 1831.
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