First published: 1817
Setting: Late eighteenth century
Locale: Geneva, Switzerland; Ingolstadt, Germany; Scotland; Arctic Ocean
Keywords: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft; Frankenstein; science fiction; treatment of nature; treatment of fear; Romanticism; treatment of monsters; Biblical allusion; Gothic novel; relationship to science; creation; sources in classical myth
Note: This novel's full title is Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
Victor Frankenstein, while a student at the university in Ingolstadt, Germany, becomes obsessed with his ambition to create life as an addition to scientific knowledge. His success leads to the making of a monster the sight of whom fills him with "breathless horror and disgust". Throughout the rest of the novel Frankenstein is haunted by the specter of what he has accomplished while the monster tries to make a place for himself in a cruel world. When Frankenstein refuses to create a mate for him, the monster embarks on a rampage of revenge. After Frankenstein is deprived of all whom he loved, he hunts the monster to the icy desolation of the Arctic to destroy that which he has wrought. Victor tells his story of horror and terror to Robert Walton, the captain of the ship which rescues him in the Arctic. Frankenstein's ensuing death and the monster's grief inspired vow to destroy himself bring this Gothic novel to a close.
The 1818 version of Frankenstein has been digitized and can be found on the Archive.org website.
TM & © Universal (1931)
Cast: John Boles, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye, Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Mae Clarke
Director: James Whale
Producers: E.M. Asher, Carl Laemmle Jr.
Screenwriters: John L. Balderston, Robert Florey, Francis Edward Faragoh, Garrett Fort, Richard Schayer, John Russell, Peggy Webling, Mary Shelley