Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

by Rachel Baker on November 9, 2013

The Guardian’s eigth book in the 100-week series on the 100 best novels written in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published in 1818. This book has been hailed as a masterpiece of horror and the macabre.

In a holiday villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, a young English poet and his lover, the guests of another poet, discouraged from outdoor pursuits, sat discussing the hideousness of nature and speculating about the fashionable subject of “galvanism”. Was it possible to reanimate a corpse?

The villa was Byron’s. The other poet was Shelley. His future wife, 19-year-old Mary Shelley (nee Godwin), who had recently lost a premature baby, was in distress. When Byron, inspired by some fireside readings of supernatural tales, suggested that each member of the party should write a ghost story to pass the time, there could scarcely have been a more propitious set of circumstances for the creation of the gothic and romantic classic called Frankenstein, the novel that some claim as the beginnings of science fiction and others as a masterpiece of horror and the macabre. Actually, it’s both more and less than such labels might suggest.

Book 7 of the series: Emma

Book 6 of the series: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Book 5 of the series: Tom Jones

Book 4 of the series: Clarissa

Book 3 of the series: Gullivers Travels

Book 2 of the series: Robinson Crusoe

Book 1 of the series: The Pilgrims Progress

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Amazon Wish ListEvernoteFlipboardInstapaperNewsVineSpringpadWordPressTypePad PostStumbleUponLiveJournalPocketRedditShare

Previous post:

Next post: