Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.95
  • Save: $4.87 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 20 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Frankenstein: A Cultural ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Frankenstein: A Cultural History Hardcover – October 17, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$21.08
$14.08 $4.67

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$21.08 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 20 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Frankenstein: A Cultural History
  • +
  • Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus
Total price: $26.71
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Literary historian Hitchcock (Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London) leads readers on a guided tour of Frankenstein appearances in this colorful and consistently entertaining narrative. The history begins, appropriately, with the monster's unlikely creation by Mary Shelley as a result of a ghost story challenge (also taken up by John William Polidori, whose tale of a vampyre would later inspire Bram Stoker). Hitchcock then lays bare the publishing world of the 19th century, a veritable Wild West of unauthorized stage adaptations, parodies and continuations in which Frankenstein thrived. James Whale's Karloff classic gets its due, as do the disturbing and innovative 1910 Edison Company production and the 1952 live television broadcast starring a drunk Lon Chaney Jr. Running throughout the book is the parallel story of the invocation of Frankenstein in the public discourse as a metaphor for subjects ranging from the Crimean war to genetically modified organisms. While some Frankenstein dilettantes might find the narrow focus of the book somewhat tedious, there are enough strange and delightful anecdotes to keep most readers engaged. B&w illus. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Susan Tyler Hitchcock’s last book was Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London. Married with two children, she lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (October 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393061442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393061444
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For 191 years, Frankenstein's hulking monstrosity could be found, not only in our nightmares, but also on bookshelves, comic-book racks, theater stages, movie and television screens, as well as toy-store shelves. The monster indeed cast quite a long shadow across our popular culture and literary historian, Ms. Hitchcock (Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London), does a Herculean effort to enlighten the reader to the many facets and incarnations of the monster- from Shelley's original novel, to Karloff's tragic portrayal, to Dick Briefer's 1950's horror comic The Monster of Frankenstein and beyond.

Frankenstein: A Cultural History is a comprehensive and entertaining account of Shelley's infamous literary creation, and serves as a testament to the popularity of that, in Shelley's own words, "hideous phantasm of a man."
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frankenstein and Dracula were born on the same night -- sort of. The story of how Mary and Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Byron's physician, John Polidori, spent an evening in the Villa Diodati, which resulted in the creation of these two seminal horrors has been told often enough, but probably never as well as Ms. Hitchcock does. After that, she goes on to discuss the book, and the frequent reiterations that have helped the Monster adapt to changing social mores and cultural needs. She writes well, and for the most part accurately, making this small cultural icon a fascinating subject.
If there is a flaw to the book, and I can't say for certain that there is, it seems as if Ms. Hitchcock has focused narrowly on her subject, and may, perhaps, have accepted general opinions regarding subject that were merely peripheral to the primary theme. A case in point is her dismissal of Lord Byron's treatment of his illegitimate daughter Allegra Biron (Byron chose this spelling as a way of aknowledging parenthood without confering legitimacy.) Ms. Hitchcock seems to accept the conventional wisdom that Byron was unfeelings and uncaring, as tossed the poor child aside to be raised by a group of Italian nuns -- an opinion which is largely trounced in Doris Langley Moore's "Lord Byron -- Accounts Rendered". I have no convenient way of testing other minor details -- and it's hard to say whether this type of thing really matters given the focus of the book.
Since most people haven't read the original novel (it's not an easy read) Ms. Hitchcock gives an excellent understanding of Ms. Shelley's inspiration and creation, and her discussion of the subsequent interpretations of the work is lively and interesting. This is a good academic work suitable for casual reading, and probably a must read for fans of horror movies and horror fiction.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable reference book on the history of the famous modern monster story and how others have adapted it for plays, movies, television and other fields. Includes nice black and white illustrations and photographs. The writer is clearly gifted and enthusiastic in her deliverance of the information. I'd say she is an expert in the study of Frankenstein.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the day Shelly finished he first verion until the lasted hit the screen, Susan Tyler Hitchcock was there. She has left no stone unturned. All aspects of the monster and his various lives are open here for the workld to see. Written to keep you reading and thirsting for more. A must for any Frankophile.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay. This text was assigned for a course at my college in which we studied monsters/Gods in popular culture. This book does an amazing job of discussing the Frankenstein myth from a huge variety of viewpoints- in terms of gender expression, corporate structure, etc. This is a text that I will be thrilled to read a second or third time, which is something I very rarely say of "school books" (the other exception, of course, being those involved in a dystopian literature class I took last year).

For anyone who is curious about this book or who adores the modern Prometheus... Just read this. Seriously, now.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The monster lives! Truer than any proclamation on a theater marquee, Frankenstein's monster still walks among us as it has for almost 200 years since it was first created. Susan Tyler Hitchcock, who last traced literary history in _Mad Mary Lamb_, has been on the lookout for the monster for the past twenty years, and now has written _Frankenstein: A Cultural History_ (Norton). "My guiding assumption has been that the monster's story says something important. Otherwise we would not keep telling it." The retellings are not just movies, although these do keep coming long after the archetypal films of Boris Karloff. Hitchcock traces the story in stage plays, television comedies, pulp novels, comics, plastic models, and breakfast cereals. The monster has risked being trivialized ever since its inception, but especially in our scientific age, it keeps scaring us with intimations that we may know too much for our own good.

Mary Shelley produced an original story but one not without its antecedents. Shelley subtitled her story, published in 1818, "The Modern Prometheus", drawing on the legend of the god who suffered for giving humans fire. She also drew upon the science of the time that was investigating how bodies twitched when sparked with electricity. Immediately after her novel was published, there were stage productions that introduced business that was not in the novel, like the bumbling laboratory assistant, electrical reanimation machines, a monster mute except for grunts and groans, an angry crowd seeking the monster and its creator, and a cataclysmic ending of them both at the climax. It was in 1931 that "something irreversible happened to Frankenstein", the film from Universal Studios. It "... locked in new and indelible imagery for the Monster.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Frankenstein: A Cultural History
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Frankenstein: A Cultural History