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Frankenstein: The 1818 Text

Introduction by Charlotte Gordon

For the bicentennial of its first publication, Mary Shelley's original 1818 text, introduced by National Book Critics Circle award-winner Charlotte Gordon. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

2018 marks the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's seminal novel. For the first time, Penguin Classics will publish the original 1818 text, which preserves the hard-hitting and politically-charged aspects of Shelley's original writing, as well as her unflinching wit and strong female voice. This edition also emphasizes Shelley's relationship with her mother-trailblazing feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who penned A Vindication of the Rights of Woman-and demonstrates her commitment to carrying forward her mother's ideals, placing her in the context of a feminist legacy rather than the sole female in the company of male poets, including Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.

This edition includes a new introduction and suggestions for further reading by National Book Critics Circle award-winner and Shelley expert Charlotte Gordon, literary excerpts and reviews selected by Gordon, and a chronology and essay by preeminent Shelley scholar Charles E. Robinson.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Rezension
"Gordon's framing is the real standout of the anniversary edition (...) Highly recommended."
-N. K. Jemisin, The New York Times Book Review

"Frankenstein is as efficient and resonant a reference today as it was in 1818. . . In this bicentennial year, much will be written about Frankenstein, its adaptations, and whether there exists a definitive or superior version of the novel. . . The 1818 Text is reflective of the thrill and nervous energy that ushered in a new era of science and society. . . But part of what makes it a little unsettling is what makes it so interesting: The chance to watch a 200-year-old novel develop. In a story that's reflected so much of the last two hundred years, and centers so much on choices, storytelling, and the potential for change, it only makes sense that Frankenstein reflects changes within its own creator"
-Genevieve Valentine, NPR

Portrait
Mary Shelley was born in London in 1797, daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, famous radical writers of the day. In 1814 she met and soon fell in love with the then-unknown Percy Bysshe Shelley. In December 1816, after Shelley’s first wife committed suicide, Mary and Percy married. They lived in Italy from 1818 until 1822, when Shelley drowned, whereupon Mary returned to London to live as a professional writer of novels, stories, and essays until her death in 1851.

 

Charlotte Gordon’s previous publications include
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley (2015),
Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Story of America’s First Poet (2005), and
The Woman Who Named God: Abraham’s Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths (2009).
Romantic Outlaws was the winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography. Currently, she is the distinguished professor of the humanities at Endicott College.

 

Charles E. Robinson, was professor of English at the University of Delaware, frequently lectured on “The Ten Texts of Frankenstein” and edited
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus: The Original Two-Volume Novel of 1816-1817 from the Bodleian Library Manuscripts, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
(with Percy Bysshe Shelley) (2008), reprinted in paperback by Vintage Books (2009). His other books included
Shelley and Byron: The Snake and Eagle Wreathed in Fight (1976) and an edition of
Mary Shelley: Collected Tales and Short Stories, with Original Engravings (1976);
The Mary Shelley Reader (1990), coedited with Betty T. Bennett; and an edition of Mary Shelley’s
Mythological Dramas: Proserpine and Midas (1992) as well as the two-volume
Frankenstein Notebooks (1996).
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  • LETTER I

    To Mrs. Saville, England.

    St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17-.

    You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.

    I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible; its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There-for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators-there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a laud surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phænomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and may regulate a thousand celestial observations, that require only this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent for ever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death, and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river. But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

    These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose,-a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember, that a history of all the voyages made for purposes of discovery composed the whole of our good uncle Thomas's library. My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. These volumes were my study day and night, and my familiarity with them increased that regret which I had felt, as a child, on learning that my father's dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a sea-faring life.

    These visions faded when I perused, for the first time, those poets whose effusions entranced my soul, and lifted it to heaven. I also
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Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 288
Erscheinungsdatum 16.01.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-313184-7
Verlag Penguin Books Ltd
Maße (L/B/H) 19.5/12.8/2.2 cm
Gewicht 228 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 13.90
Fr. 13.90
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