“Julia V. Douthwaite succeeds admirably in showing the interrelations between history and literature and introduces the reader to a long-neglected body of works. By showing the role of Revolutionary fiction and its reinterpretation by later writers, this important book fills a significant gap in the history of literature.”
(Marie-Helene Huet, Princeton University
“In this meticulously researched, carefully argued, and beautifully written book, Professor Douthwaite shows us why we should care about the neglected literature that came out of France from the fall of the Bastille to Napoleon’s coronation. Whereas most scholars of the French Revolution focus on its origins or course, Douthwaite concentrates on its consequences, locating its imprint on literature and culture from the early nineteenth century to our own day. Her skillful use of archival sources as well as printed texts and images, combined with her trenchant historiographical interventions and brilliant contextual readings, make The Frankenstein of 1790 a model of interdisciplinary scholarship.”
(Ronald Schechter, College of William and Mary
“This book offers eye-opening revelations about French fiction in the Revolutionary period, not least the rediscovery of a parable about an inventor named Frankenstein and his life-size artificial man, published more than a quarter century before Mary Shelley’s famous novel. Moreover, in a series of inspired chapter codas, Douthwaite shows the subsequent importance for literary history—both in France and in England—of the now-neglected 1790s novels on which she focuses. The Frankenstein of 1790 will be of enormous interest to any student of the French Revolution’s literary legacies.”
(James Chandler, University of Chicago
About the Author
Julia V. Douthwaite is professor of French at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Exotic Women: Literary Heroines and Cultural Strategies in Ancien Régime France and The Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.