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by Mary Shelley

Published: 2018-01-16
Paperback : 288 pages
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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 ...
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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.

Editorial Review

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Discussion Questions

Is Robert Walton’s ambition similar to Frankenstein’s, as Frankenstein believes?

Why is the fifteen-year-old Frankenstein so impressed with the oak tree destroyed by lightning in a thunderstorm?

Why does Frankenstein become obsessed with creating life?

Why is Frankenstein filled with disgust, calling the monster “my enemy,” as soon as he has created him? (p. 62)

What does the monster think his creator owes him?

Why does Frankenstein agree to create a bride for the monster, then procrastinate and finally break his promise?

Why can’t Frankenstein tell anyone—even his father or Elizabeth—why he blames himself for the deaths of William, Justine, and Henry Clerval?

Why doesn’t Frankenstein realize that the monster’s pledge “I shall be with you on your wedding-night” threatens Elizabeth as well as himself? (p. 173)
Why does Frankenstein find new purpose in life when he decides to seek revenge on the monster “until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict”? (p. 206)

Why are Frankenstein and his monster both ultimately miserable, bereft of human companionship, and obsessed with revenge? Are they in the same situation at the end of the novel?

Why doesn’t Walton kill the monster when he has the chance?

Was it wrong for Frankenstein to inquire into the origins of life?

What makes the creature a monster rather than a human being?

Is the monster, who can be persuasive, always telling the truth?

Suggested by Members

Why would Victor caution Walton against single-minded focus at the beginning of the book, then change his mind and rally the sailors to carry on near the end?
How is Victor like your knowledge of a creator? How is he different?
Who would the creature have been if he had been welcomed to awareness with love rather than horror?
by Sayyadina (see profile) 10/20/20

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Fight of the Frankenstein-ian cold
by Sayyadina (see profile) 10/20/20
Soup and thick rye bread, with golden drinks (apple juice, ginger beer, etc) would compliment the feeling of the novel, considering it is told while Frankenstein is on his sick-bed.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Frankenstein - less human than his creation"by Chelsea N. (see profile) 10/20/20

I read this on the recommendation of my husband. The first few chapters were boring, confusing, and I quickly came to dislike both Walton and Victor. But then the monster spoke - and I bega... (read more)

by carol w. (see profile) 08/21/19

by Sandy R. (see profile) 07/19/19

by Emmy E. (see profile) 06/20/19

by Susan B. (see profile) 03/05/19

by Christy W. (see profile) 05/13/18

by Alicia S. (see profile) 12/11/17

by Maureen B. (see profile) 08/04/17

  "Frankenstein"by Carene O. (see profile) 10/30/10

Recommended since its a classic, but it is hard to read. Better once you get to the part in Victor Frankenstein's words. Those of us who got through the book (not many!) were all surprised that the story... (read more)

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