Monday, 25 March 2013

HELLO The Classics Club - Frankenstein

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, 1818.
A Gothic horror, romance about a nameless creature created by experimentation, by the scientist, Victor Frankenstein.

Prometheus refers to the Greek myth of the Titan, creator of mankind, in his image, who brought man light.

The story is told by Captain Walton who is on a North Pole expedition, and is corresponding with his sister. He rescues Frankenstein from the ice waters. He narrates his story to Walton.

Frankenstein is ambitious. But upon creating life, a monster in his eyes) he abandons it. The create, no doubt, seeks revenge.

30th Aug 1797 - 1st Feb 1851

Mary Shelley was born to William Godwin, political philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, philospher and feminist, who died shortly after giving birth to her. She conducted an affair with poet, Percy Shelley, and they later married, in 1816, following the suicide of his wife. It was that same year, whilst in Switzerland with Lord Byron (poet), John William Polidori (creator of vampire genre) and Claire Clairemont (Mary's stepsister), that Mary Shelley literally dreamt the idea of Frankenstein. She died from a brain tumour ages 53.

I read this book expecting thunder bolts and lightning, nuts and bolts, forgetting that was all Hollywood's input. Forget the rumours of its authorship. Frankenstein is a brilliant Gothic, horror romance. There is a monster. Yes, he kills. However, there is a point where you empathise with the creature. He's alone in the woods and learns language by listening and observing a family who live there. He does kind, unseen deeds to help them. In a bid to be accepted be confronts the blind resident, of course it doesn't turn out how he thinks.

It's sad too, that he has no name, though Hollywood insist on Frankenstein. Tut!

It goes to show. Read the book before you see the film versions. Create your own images.


  1. Yes I agree - I watched the many films before reading the actual book and being about 14 or something I was most disappointed with the book! LOL!! It was very philosophical - but now a hundred years later, I truly must re-visit this classic again! Take care

    1. I plan to read Austen this summer having see some of the film/TV adaptations. I'm intrigued about how that'll pan out. Watch this space.

  2. I love your insight into the Classics, Debbie, and the history of Mary Shelley was fascinating! Getting cheated out of a great story by its film counterpart is one of my pet peeves!
    All the best ~

    1. Thanks, Victoria.

      Author background is one of the things I enjoy adding to these reviews. We are all influenced by our history to a lesser or greater extent.

  3. Debbie, you will love Austen, particularly P and P. Her writing was very modern for her time. If you're interested in seeing different adaptations, try BBC 1995 Pride and Prejudice series if you can get it, probably in a box set. It's fantastic and much better than the more recent film. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Valentina. I can't believe I've never read any of her books.

  4. Yes this story is just begging for a faithful film rendition...and I'm still waiting. Nice review:
    My review: