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Frankenstein 2nd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,836 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321399533
ISBN-10: 0321399536
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the "Longman Cultural Editions" series, this second edition of" Frankenstein "presents Mary Shelley's remarkable novel in several provocative and illuminating contexts: cultural, critical, and literary. Series Editor Susan J. Wolfson presents the 1818 version of Mary Shelley's famous novel in its cultural and historical contexts. Like all great works of fiction, "Frankenstein" gains depth and dimension from its "conversation" with contemporary texts, especially those by Shelley's own parents, husband, and friends. A lively introduction is complemented by a chronology coordinating Shelley's life with key historical events and a speculative calendar of the novel's events in the late eighteenth century. In addition to the 1818 text, this cultural edition features the introduction to and a sample revision of the 1831 version. New to this Edition is Frankentalk, a section of selected references to "Frankenstein" in the popular press, and the complete text of Richard Brinsley Peake's "Frankenstein, A Romantic Drama," the first stage version of Frankenstein.

About the Author

Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University. In addition to this present volume, her editorial work includes  Felicia Hemans (Princeton UP, 2000) and the Longman Cultural Edition of John Keats.  With Claudia Johnson, she is coeditor of the Longman Cultural Edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. With Peter Manning, she is coeditor of the Romantics volume in The Longman Anthology of British Literature, and Selected Poems of Lord Byron (Penguin, 2005).  Her critical books include the prize-winning Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism (Stanford UP, 1997) and Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism (Stanford UP, 2007).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 2nd edition (July 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321399536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321399533
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,836 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
Much like Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a story we all think we know, but really don't. Very few films have consciously attempted to follow the novel too closely (which shouldn't detract from the excellent James Whale/Boris Karloff film, or its masterpiece-sequel, "The Bride of Frankenstein). Thus, everything popular culture "knows" about "Frankenstein" does not originate from literature, but from films. This is a shame, in a way, because the novel itself is, if not the progenitor, an early vessel of so many archetypes found science fiction and horror.

The basic plot remained intact when transferred to other media. Swiss medical student Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of life (which he never reveals, lest someone repeat the mistake). He then puts together a body, essentially a man, from various corpses. He then becomes horrified by the creature he has built, and abandons. The creature, suffering a great deal of neglect and abuse, still manages to get a thorough education, and learns of his lineage. After murdering Victor's younger brother, and framing the family maid, the creature tells his (admittedly) sad tale to his "father", and then demands a mate. Victor, in a panic, agrees, then thinks better of it at the last moment, destroying the new bride. In retaliation, the creature murders all of Victor's loved ones (including his wife), and leads Victor on a merry chase across the world.

Most probably know that Mary Shelley wrote this book in response to a challenge issued by Lord Byron, during a vacation at Lake Geneva. (Along with this story came John Polidori's "The Vampyre", the first English vampire novel.) Most probably also know that Shelley went on to write other works of imaginative gothic fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got the free Kindle edition from the link on the page for the Norton Critical Edition of the 1818 text. Mary Shelley made many significant edits to the book for the 1831 edition. I assumed it was the same edition because the link was from the same page. I didn't realize it was different until I went to write my assigned essay and went online to search for page numbers for the passages I wanted to quote. Many of the quotes I wanted to use don't even appear in the original version. This is a very important distinction, and I wish it had been labeled correctly so I would not have had to waste so much time looking for online versions of the correct text in order to replace the quotes I could not use from the later version. This edition is fine if you just want to read the book, but if you're reading it for school, you have more than likely been assigned the 1818 version, which is very different. The Kindle edition is also lacking in any kind of Kindle formatting, making it a hassle to find locations in the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's surprising how many times this novel has been edited and re-created. Or not surprising, since it is so unsettling one wants to rewrite the key scenes and ending to suit modern emotional sensibilities. We had a great book club reading of it where everyone read a different version and we all got different impressions. But the eloquence and genius of Mary Shelley was evident and strong in this version and I find her original impulses (even marrying Victor to his first cousin) pure and quite defensible. This is an enduring masterpiece because we continue to make monsters with technology (and as parents) when we are blinded by our own lust to create, and when we do not take responsibility or show love for the created thing.
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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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