front cover of The Annotated Frankenstein
The Annotated Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Harvard University Press, 2012

An annotated and illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's classic work, celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018.

First published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound, disturbed, and fascinated readers for generations. One of the most haunting and enduring works ever written in English, it has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in virtually every medium, making the Frankenstein myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel. Now, this freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife with unmatched detail and vitality.

From the first decade after publication, “Frankenstein” became a byword for any new, disturbing developments in science, technology, and human imagination. The editors’ Introduction explores the fable’s continuing presence in popular culture and intellectual life as well as the novel’s genesis and composition. Mary Shelley’s awareness of European politics and history, her interest in the poets and philosophical debates of the day, and especially her genius in distilling her personal traumas come alive in this engaging essay.

The editors’ commentary, placed conveniently alongside the text, provides stimulating company. Their often surprising observations are drawn from a lifetime of reading and teaching the novel. A wealth of illustrations, many in color, immerses the reader in Shelley’s literary and social world, in the range of artwork inspired by her novel, as well as in Frankenstein’s provocative cinematic career. The fresh light that The Annotated Frankenstein casts on a story everyone thinks is familiar will delight readers while deepening their understanding of Mary Shelley’s novel and the Romantic era in which it was created.

[more]

front cover of Autistic Disturbances
Autistic Disturbances
Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe
Julia Miele Rodas
University of Michigan Press, 2018
While research on autism has sometimes focused on special talents or abilities, autism is typically characterized as impoverished or defective when it comes to language. Autistic Disturbances reveals the ways interpreters have failed to register the real creative valence of autistic language and offers a theoretical framework for understanding the distinctive aesthetics of autistic rhetoric and semiotics. Reinterpreting characteristic autistic verbal practices such as repetition in the context of a more widely respected literary canon, Julia Miele Rodas argues that autistic language is actually an essential part of mainstream literary aesthetics, visible in poetry by Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein, in novels by Charlotte Brontë and Daniel Defoe, in life writing by Andy Warhol, and even in writing by figures from popular culture.

Autistic Disturbances pursues these resonances and explores the tensions of language and culture that lead to the classification of some verbal expression as disordered while other, similar expression enjoys prized status as literature. It identifies the most characteristic patterns of autistic expression-repetition, monologue, ejaculation, verbal ordering or list-making, and neologism-and adopts new language to describe and reimagine these categories in aesthetically productive terms. In so doing, the book seeks to redress the place of verbal autistic language, to argue for the value and complexity of autistic ways of speaking, and to invite recognition of an obscured tradition of literary autism at the very center of Anglo-American text culture.
[more]

front cover of Frankenstein and STEAM
Frankenstein and STEAM
Essays for Charles E. Robinson
Robin Hammerman
University of Delaware Press, 2022

Charles E. Robinson, Professor Emeritus of English at The University of Delaware, definitively transformed study of the novel Frankenstein with his foundational volume The Frankenstein Notebooks and, in nineteenth century studies more broadly, brought heightened attention to the nuances of writing and editing. Frankenstein and STEAM consolidates the generative legacy of his later work on the novel's broad relation to topics in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Seven chapters written by leading and emerging scholars pay homage to Robinson's later perspectives of the novel and a concluding postscript contains remembrances by his colleagues and students. This volume not only makes explicit the question of what it means to be human, a question Robinson invited students and colleagues to examine throughout his career, but it also illustrates the depth of the field and diversity of those who have been inspired by Robinson's work. Frankenstein and STEAM offers direction for continuing scholarship on the intersections of literature, science, and technology.

Published by the University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

[more]

front cover of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
The 1818 Text
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
University of Chicago Press, 1982
"James Rieger's Frankenstein is relatively special among editions: it is the definitive scholarly text, and it is also the most readable copy for the classroom and the general reader. . . .The Rieger Frankenstein is very simply the best edition of this tremendously important and popular novel."—William Veeder, University of Chicago
[more]

front cover of Harvester of Hearts
Harvester of Hearts
Motherhood under the Sign of Frankenstein
Rachel Feder
Northwestern University Press, 2018

In the period between 1815 and 1820, Mary Shelley wrote her most famous novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, as well as its companion piece, Mathilda, a tragic incest narrative that was confiscated by her father, William Godwin, and left unpublished until 1959. She also gave birth to four—and lost three—children.

In this hybrid text, Rachel Feder interprets Frankenstein and Mathilda within a series of provocative frameworks including Shelley’s experiences of motherhood and maternal loss, twentieth-century feminists’ interests in and attachments to Mary Shelley, and the critic’s own experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Harvester of Hearts explores how Mary Shelley’s exchanges with her children—in utero, in birth, in life, and in death—infuse her literary creations. Drawing on the archives of feminist scholarship, Feder theorizes “elective affinities,” a term she borrows from Goethe to interrogate how the personal attachments of literary critics shape our sense of literary history. Feder blurs the distinctions between intellectual, bodily, literary, and personal history, reanimating the classical feminist discourse on Frankenstein by stepping into the frame.

The result—at once an experimental book of literary criticism, a performative foray into feminist praxis, and a deeply personal lyric essay—not only locates Mary Shelley’s monsters within the folds of maternal identity but also illuminates the connections between the literary and the quotidian.

[more]

front cover of The Making of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The Making of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Daisy Hay
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018
“Invention … does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos”—Mary Shelley

In the two hundred years since its first publication, the story of Frankenstein’s creation during stormy days and nights at Byron’s Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva has become literary legend. In this compelling and innovative book, Daisy Hay stitches together the objects and manuscripts of the novel’s turbulent genesis in order to bring its story back to life.
 
Frankenstein was inspired by the extraordinary people surrounding the eighteen-year-old author and by the places and historical dramas that formed the backdrop of her youth. Featuring manuscripts, portraits, illustrations, and artifacts, The Making of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” explores the novel’s time and place, the people who inspired its characters, the relics of its long afterlife, and the notebooks in which it was created. Hay strips Frankenstein back to its constituent parts to reveal an uneven novel written by a young woman deeply engaged in the process of working out what she thought about the pressing issues of her time: from science, politics, religion, and slavery to maternity, the imagination, creativity, and community. Richly illustrated throughout, this is an astute and intricate biography of the novel for all those fascinated by its essential, brilliant chaos.
[more]

logo for University of Chicago Press
Mary Shelley and Frankenstein
The Fate of Androgyny
William Veeder
University of Chicago Press, 1986

logo for University of Chicago Press
Maurice, or The Fisher's Cot
A Tale
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
University of Chicago Press, 2000
In November 1997, a slight book sewn together with string was discovered in a palazzo in Italy. This was Maurice, the only children's story ever penned by Mary Shelley. Written two years after Frankenstein, Maurice is often read as a gloss of Shelley's personal family tragedies, bearing the same melancholy that distinguishes all of her works. As Claire Tomalin shows in her compelling introduction, it contributes greatly to the literary and biographical scholarship on this fascinating woman who was a significant writer in her own right as well as the wife of one of the world's greatest romantic poets.


[more]

front cover of Monstrous Progeny
Monstrous Progeny
A History of the Frankenstein Narratives
Friedman, Lester D
Rutgers University Press, 2016
Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein is its own type of monster mythos that will not die, a corpus whose parts keep getting harvested to animate new artistic creations. What makes this tale so adaptable and so resilient that, nearly 200 years later, it remains vitally relevant in a culture radically different from the one that spawned its birth?
 
Monstrous Progeny takes readers on a fascinating exploration of the Frankenstein family tree, tracing the literary and intellectual roots of Shelley’s novel from the sixteenth century and analyzing the evolution of the book’s figures and themes into modern productions that range from children’s cartoons to pornography. Along the way, media scholar Lester D. Friedman and historian Allison B. Kavey examine the adaptation and evolution of Victor Frankenstein and his monster across different genres and in different eras. In doing so, they demonstrate how Shelley’s tale and its characters continue to provide crucial reference points for current debates about bioethics, artificial intelligence, cyborg lifeforms, and the limits of scientific progress. 
 
Blending an extensive historical overview with a detailed analysis of key texts, the authors reveal how the Frankenstein legacy arose from a series of fluid intellectual contexts and continues to pulsate through an extraordinary body of media products. Both thought-provoking and entertaining, Monstrous Progeny offers a lively look at an undying and significant cultural phenomenon.
 
[more]

front cover of The Necromantics
The Necromantics
Reanimation, the Historical Imagination, and Victorian British and Irish Literature
Renée Fox
The Ohio State University Press, 2023

The Necromantics dwells on the literal afterlives of history. Reading the reanimated corpses—monstrous, metaphorical, and occasionally electrified—that Mary Shelley, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, W. B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and others bring to life, Renée Fox argues that these undead figures embody the present’s desire to remake the past in its own image. Fox positions “necromantic literature” at a nineteenth-century intersection between sentimental historiography, medical electricity, imperial gothic monsters, and the Irish Literary Revival, contending that these unghostly bodies resist critical assumptions about the always-haunting power of history.

By considering Irish Revival texts within the broader scope of nineteenth-century necromantic works, The Necromantics challenges Victorian studies’ tendency to merge Irish and English national traditions into a single British whole, as well as Irish studies’ postcolonial efforts to cordon off a distinct Irish canon. Fox thus forges new connections between conflicting political, formal, and historical traditions. In doing so, she proposes necromantic literature as a model for a contemporary reparative reading practice that can reanimate nineteenth-century texts with new aesthetic affinities, demonstrating that any effective act of reading will always be an effort of reanimation.

[more]

front cover of The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer
The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer
Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen
Mary Poovey
University of Chicago Press, 1984
"A brilliant, original, and powerful book. . . . This is the most skillful integration of feminism and Marxist literary criticism that I know of." So writes critic Stephen Greenblatt about The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer, Mary Poovey's study of the struggle of three prominent writers to accommodate the artist's genius to the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century ideal of the modest, self-effacing "proper lady." Interpreting novels, letters, journals, and political tracts in the context of cultural strictures, Poovey makes an important contribution to English social and literary history and to feminist theory.

"The proper lady was a handy concept for a developing bourgeois patriarchy, since it deprived women of worldly power, relegating them to a sanctified domestic sphere that, in complex ways, nourished and sustained the harsh 'real' world of men. With care and subtle intelligence, Poovey examines this 'guardian and nemesis of the female self' through the ways it is implicated in the style and strategies of three very different writers."—Rachel M. Brownstein, The Nation

"The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer is a model of . . . creative discovery, providing a well-researched, illuminating history of women writers at the turn of the nineteenth century. [Poovey] creates sociologically and psychologically persuasive accounts of the writers: Wollstonecraft, who could never fully transcend the ideology of propriety she attacked; Shelley, who gradually assumed a mask of feminine propriety in her social and literary styles; and Austen, who was neither as critical of propriety as Wollstonecraft nor as accepting as Shelley ultimately became."—Deborah Kaplan, Novel

[more]

front cover of Shelley's Ghost
Shelley's Ghost
Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family
Stephen Hebron and Elizabeth C. Denlinger
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2010

It is difficult to think of a family more endowed with literary genius than the Shelley family—from the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, novelist Mary Shelley, to Mary’s parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft—all were authors in their own right. Using extensive archival material, Shelley’s Ghost explores the making of this remarkable literary family’s reputation.

            Drawing on the Bodleian Library’s outstanding collection of letters, poetry manuscripts, rare printed books, portraits, and other personalia—including Shelley’s working notebooks, Keats’s letters to Shelley, William Godwin’s diary, and the original manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—Stephen Hebron charts the history of this talented yet troubled family. After Percy Bysshe Shelley’s drowning in 1822, Mary published various manuscripts relating to both her husband’s and her father’s lives, and passed this historical legacy to her son, Sir Percy Florence Shelley and his wife, Lady Jane Shelley. As guardians of the archive until they bequeathed it to the Bodleian in 1892, Sir Percy Florence and Lady Jane helped shape the posthumous reputations of these writers. An afterword by Elizabeth Denlinger of the New York Public Library offers an additional perspective, exploring material relating to the Shelley family that slipped beyond the family’s control.

            An unparalleled look at one of the most significant families of British Romantic literature, Shelley’s Ghost will be welcomed by scholars and the many fans of this enduring literacy legacy.

[more]

logo for University of Chicago Press
The Surprising Effects of Sympathy
Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley
David Marshall
University of Chicago Press, 1988
Through readings of works by Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley, David Marshall provides a new interpretation of the eighteenth-century preoccupation with theatricality and sympathy. Sympathy is seen not as an instance of sensibility or natural benevolence but rather as an aesthetic and epistemological problem that must be understood in relation to the problem of theatricality.

Placing novels in the context of eighteenth-century writing about theater, fiction, and painting, Marshall argues that an unusual variety of authors and texts were concerned with the possibility of entering into someone else's thoughts and feelings. He shows how key eighteenth-century works reflect on the problem of how to move, touch, and secure the sympathy of readers and beholders in the realm of both "art" and "life." Marshall discusses the demands placed upon novels to achieve certain effects, the ambivalence of writers and readers about those effects, and the ways in which these texts can be read as philosophical meditations on the differences and analogies between the experiences of reading a novel, watching a play, beholding a painting, and witnessing the spectacle of someone suffering. The Surprising Effects of Sympathy traces the interaction of sympathy and theater and the artistic and philosophical problems that these terms represent in dialogues about aesthetics, moral philosophy, epistemology, psychology, autobiography, the novel, and society.
[more]

front cover of Transmedia Creatures
Transmedia Creatures
Frankenstein’s Afterlives
Saggini, Francesca
Bucknell University Press, 2018
On the 200th anniversary of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Transmedia Creatures presents studies of Frankenstein by international scholars from converging disciplines such as humanities, musicology, film studies, television studies, English and digital humanities. These innovative contributions investigate the afterlives of a novel taught in a disparate array of courses - Frankenstein disturbs and transcends boundaries, be they political, ethical, theological, aesthetic, and not least of media, ensuring its vibrant presence in contemporary popular culture. Transmedia Creatures highlights how cultural content is redistributed through multiple media, forms and modes of production (including user-generated ones from “below”) that often appear synchronously and dismantle and renew established readings of the text, while at the same time incorporating and revitalizing aspects that have always been central to it. The authors engage with concepts, value systems and aesthetic-moral categories—among them the family, horror, monstrosity, diversity, education, risk, technology, the body—from a variety of contemporary approaches and highly original perspectives, which yields new connections. Ultimately, Frankenstein, as evidenced by this collection, is paradoxically enriched by the heteroglossia of preconceptions, misreadings, and overreadings that attend it, and that reveal the complex interweaving of perceptions and responses it generates.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter