Frankenstein: or `The Modern Prometheus': The 1818 Text (3rd edition)

ISBN : 9780198840824

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Nick Groom
336 ページ
129 x 196 mm
Oxford World's Classics



  • A new edition of Mary Shelley's immensely powerful and iconic Gothic novel
  • An epic parable warning against the threats to humanity posed by accelerating technological progress
  • Nick Groom's fascinating introduction details the literary and historical context of Frankenstein, from the politics of human rights raised by the French Revolution, to approaches to maternity and women's writing, and Gothic engagement with science and technology
  • Considers the novel's contribution to contemporary debates in animal studies, identity politics, the environment, and changing definitions of the 'human'

New to this Edition:

  • Appendices of Mary Shelley's biographical introduction to the 1831 edition, the substantive changes made for that edition, and Percy Bysshe Shelley's own (anonymous) review of the novel
  • Up-to-date bibliography, extensive new biographical and cultural chronology, and revised explanatory notes

By the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window-shutters, I beheld the wretch-the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened...
Frankenstein is the most celebrated horror story ever written. It tells the dreadful tale of Victor Frankenstein, a visionary young student of natural philosophy, who discovers the secret of life. In the grip of his obsession he constructs a being from dead body parts, and animates this creature. The results, for Victor and for his family, are catastrophic.
Written when Mary Shelley was just eighteen, Frankenstein was inspired by the ghost stories and vogue for Gothic literature that fascinated the Romantic writers of her time. She transformed these supernatural elements an epic parable that warned against the threats to humanity posed by accelerating technological progress. 
Published for the 200th anniversary, this edition, based on the original 1818 text, explains in detail the turbulent intellectual context in which Shelley was writing, and also investigates how her novel has since become a byword for controversial practices in science and medicine, from manipulating ecosystems to vivisection and genetic modification. As an iconic study of power, creativity, and, ultimately, what it is to be human, Frankenstein continues to shape our thinking in profound ways to this day.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Mary Shelley
Appendix A. Author's Introduction to the Standard Novels Edition (1831)
Appendix B. The Third Edition (1831): Substantive Changes
Appendix C. On Frankenstein by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Explanatory Notes


Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Edited by Nick Groom, Professor of English Literature, University of Exeter
Nick Groom is Professor in English at the University of Exeter. He has published widely for both academic and popular readerships, and among his many books are The Forger's Shadow (Picador 2002), The Union Jack (Atlantic 2006, rev. edn 2017), The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2012), The Seasons: A Celebration of the English Year(Atlantic 2014), and editions of a variety of eighteenth-century texts, from crime writing to Shakespeare. He has edited Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (2014), Matthew Lewis's The Monk (2016), and Ann Radcliffe's The Italian (2017) for Oxford World's Classics.

"probably the most brilliantly comprehensive introduction to Frankenstein that I have ever read. Even if you've read the book ... ou have to buy this finely produced OUP annotated edition to enjoy Nick Grooms distillation of Frankenstein's ideas and challenges: especially so as this is the first raw 1818 edition."" - Magonia Review

"wonderful" - Oliver Tearle, Interesting Literature

"a quality edition ... it uses the original 1818 text and ... it tells us so much about the author and her history; it is both a novel and a very useful reference book. And what is more, it both looks and feels good - well worthy of a place on your shelves." - Peter Tyers, Science Fact & Science Fiction Concatenation