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Frankenstein (Collector's Library) Hardcover – August 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1904633426 ISBN-10: 1904633420 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Collector's Library
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Library; Reprint edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904633420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904633426
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 3.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

""Simon Vance's regal English accent provides the perfect tone for this early-nineteenth-century moral exploration of mankind's use of knowledge."" ---AudioFile
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Mary Shelley was born the child of two of the most famous free-thinking intellectuals then living, and she eloped with one of the greatest poets of the age. She wrote her great novel about human monstrosity as part of a contest between friends during a trip to Switzerland in 1814, at a time when she was consistently either pregnant, nursing, or mourning a dead child, and also struggling with her husband’s debt and pursuit of sexual relationships with other women. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jim Dollar on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most editions of Mary Shelley's landmark book available today follow the heavily revised 1831 version. The impulse behind this trend is an honorable one (to present what is seemingly an author's "final revision"),but the 1818 version is preferable for many reasons. Looking back on her creation in later life, Shelley felt obliged to alter the book's focus in significant ways, adding what critic Marilyn Butler accurately describes as "long passages in which her main narrator, [Victor] Frankenstein, expresses religious remorse for making a creature..." The author sought to make the 1831 edition less controversial and thereby more palatable to the tastes of the reading public. The 1818 version is closer to Mary Shelley's original intentions, though it too, unfortunately, was filtered through the sensibilities of her husband, the poet Percy Shelley, who took many of his wife's rather straightforward passages and rendered them into his own more ornate and Ciceronian style. Still, the 1818 version remains more vital, more original, and less constrained by what the author believed would be acceptable to readers in 1830s England.
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489 of 576 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Specksynder on January 31, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This "enriched classics" is a bowdlerized version of Mary Shelley's original text. It eliminates passages, changes the diction, abridges the chapters, and changes the entire structure of the novel. Our school bought this edition thinking that the additional notes would be helpful to students studying the text, but there was no indication at all on Amazon's website that this version had been substantially altered by the editors. The book is so bowdlerized that our school bought an entire new set of texts for the students at a considerable finanacial loss for the school. WHATEVER YOU DO, BUY SOME OTHER VERSION OF FRANKENSTEIN. THIS ONE IS A MONSTER CREATED BY SOMEONE WHO HAS NO RESPECT FOR THE AUTHOR. BANTAM, PUFFIN, OXFORD -- THEY ARE ALL FINE. Irene Nicastro, English teacher, The American School of The Hague.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on December 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The 19th Century bequeathed us four immediately recognizable, vibrant & enduring fictional icons: Shelley's Frankenstein; Stoker's Dracula; Melville's Moby Dick (& Ahab); and Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Each of them has, I fear, suffered a horrible fate: they are so familiar to us, in their many modern incarnations & imitations, that too few people return to the original texts. This may be particularly true of Frankenstein, whose portrayals have been so frivolous and distorted. In fact, in addition to being written in luxuriant gothic prose, the original novel is one of the most profound meditations on Man and his purpose and relation to God that has exists in our literature.
Victor Frankenstein is a young man of Geneva who is fascinated by the sciences and the secrets of life and death:
My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately. I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.
While at University in Ingolstadt, his life course is set when he hears a professor lecture on modern chemistry:
'The ancient teachers of this science,'said he, 'promised impossibilities and performed nothing.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T. West on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
This Norton Critical Edition makes an excellent value in literature. If you are a student of literature, this volume will help you gain a thorough knowledge of Mary Shelley's original text (lots of context and critical essays included), as well as editions that followed. It contains her original preface (supposedly much influenced by Percy) as well as her 1830 preface. If you do not know, Mary's monster is not the monster one finds in the movies, nor is Dr. Frankenstein. Further, if you have not read an edition other than the first, you don't know about the incest issue that is in the first edition, but not later editions. As you will find in reviews below, this is not a flawless novel, but it is a must read for any well-read person. What is rarely discussed is the influence of John Locke, whose Essay Concerning Human Understanding Mary Shelley read closely just prior to writing the novel. The influence of his work on hers is substantial. Read in the light of Romanticism's reaction to the Enlightenment and Locke et al gives one a completely different perspective for understanding the work. I think you'll find Mary's philosophy appropriately and interestingly feminine, without being feminist; another surprise, considering her lineage. Definitely a good read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The original version of Frankenstein (or, The Modern Prometheus) was published anonymously in 1818. However, the version of Frankenstein that most people have read is the 1831 edition, which has significant changes from the original 1818 text. This book gives the readers a chance to experience the original text, which is less refined and a bit darker then the revised text. It also provides a wonderful introduction and notes discussing Mary Shelley's life, the context in which this story was written, and the differences between the original text and the 1831 edition. These notes and introduction are by Marilyn Butler, who was a Professor of English Literature at Cambridge.

The story is well known, although certainly the book is nothing like most of the movies that use its name. While clearly one can find many issues from Mary Shelley's life and times that are addressed in this book, what makes it stand the test of time is how it can be made to relate to modern day issues as well. One theme, science creates a "monster" which it cannot control and which ultimately destroys the lives of those that created it, can be found today in areas such as genetics, nuclear physics, etc., and will undoubtedly be with us in the future as well. Other themes from the story carry forward from 1818 to today as well, which undoubtedly why this story is a classic and will always endure.
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