ALL TIME BESTSELLER: FRANKENSTEIN (The Original Unabridged NOOK Edition) by MARY SHELLEY Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [Inspiration for the National Theatre Play FRANKENSTEIN by Danny Boyle & Film w/ Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter]

ALL TIME BESTSELLER: FRANKENSTEIN (The Original Unabridged NOOK Edition) by MARY SHELLEY Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [Inspiration for the National Theatre Play FRANKENSTEIN by Danny Boyle & Film w/ Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter]

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Overview

ALL TIME BESTSELLER: FRANKENSTEIN
(The Original Unabridged NOOK Edition)

by MARY SHELLEY | Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

[Inspiration for the National Theatre Play FRANKENSTEIN by Danny Boyle & Film w/ Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter]

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ABOUT THE NOVEL

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed artificial life experiment that has produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.
Shelley had travelled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. The actual storyline was taken from a dream. Shelley was talking with three writer-colleagues, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Polidori, and they decided they would have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. Then Frankenstein was written.

Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story, because unlike in previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. The story is partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead and (sometimes) living animals and was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in its subtitle, The Modern Prometheus.

Frankenstein achieved an almost immediate popular success. It became widely known especially through melodramatic theatrical adaptations — Mary Shelley saw a production of Presumption; or The Fate of Frankenstein, a play by Richard Brinsley Peake, in 1823. A French translation appeared as early as 1821 (Frankenstein: ou le Prométhée Moderne, translated by Jules Saladin).

Frankenstein has had a considerable influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. Recent adaptations include

1994: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, with Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter.

2011: The National Theatre, London production of Frankenstein, written by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle.

EXCERPT

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013060692
Publisher: The Mary Shelley Collection
Publication date: 12/11/2011
Series: Mary Shelley FRANKENSTEIN Inspiration for National Theatre Play by Danny Boyle and Film by Kenneth Branaugh NOOK
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 316 KB

About the Author

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.

Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish Percy Shelley's works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements.

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