Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus

ISBN : 9780199537167

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; M. K. Joseph
272 Pages
130 x 195 mm
Pub date
Aug 2008
Oxford World's Classics
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  • Shelley's suspenseful and intellectually rich gothic tale confronts some of the most important and enduring themes in all of literture—the power of human imagination, the potential hubris of science, the gulf between appearance and essence, the effects of human cruelty, the desire for revenge and the need for forgiveness, and much more. 

'by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow yee of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs'

To many readers, who have perhaps known Frankenstein only at second hand, the original may well come as a surprise. When Maary Shelley began it, she was only 18, though she was already Shelley's mistress and Byron's friend. In her preface she eplains how she and Shelley spent part of a wet summer with Byron in Switzerland, amusing themselves by reading and writing ghost stories. Her contribution was Frankenstein, a story about a student of natural philsophy who learns the secret of imparting life to a creature constrcted from bones he has olleted in charnelhouses. The story is not a study of the macabre, as such, but rather a study of how man uses his power, through science, to manipulate and pervert his own destiny, and this makes it a profoundly disturbing book.

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