Frankenstein : or `The Modern Prometheus’: The 1818 Text
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Marilyn Butler
Editor: Oxford University Press
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Frankenstein was once by Mary Shelley is extremely powerful contribution to the ghost stories that she, Percy Shelley and Byron wrote of a damp summer in Switzerland.His protagonist is a young student of natural philosophy, who learns the secret of giving life to a creature built from the relics of death, with disastrous consequences.Frankenstein confronts some of the most feared of evolutionary innovations: subjects such as the hereditary degeneration of the disease, and the state as an animal species.The text used here is from the 1818 edition, which is a mocker exposing leaders and builders who leave desolation in its wake, showing humanity’s choice of living cooperatively or dying because of selfishness.It is also a black comedy, and more difficult and spiritual than the 1831 version which is more familiar to us.Based on new research, Marilyn Butler examines the novel in the context of the radical sciences, which have been developing among many controversies in the years following the Napoleonic Wars, and shows how Frankenstein’s experience is linked to a contemporary debate between the champions of materialistic science and religion.FOR THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World Classics has provided the widest range of literature from all over the world.Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to study, providing the most accurate text, plus a host of other useful functions, including experts in introductions by major authorities, useful notes to clarify the text, updated bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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