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Mary Shelley: Frankenstein's Creator (Barnard Biography) Paperback – October 1, 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA?Teens should find the story of this romantic rebel who followed her ideals and dreams at an appalling personal cost to be compelling and surprisingly modern in many ways. Shelley might at first seem an odd choice for an entry in a series devoted to "role models for young women today," since Nichols clearly outlines the rumors and scandals that have surrounded the writer and her circle of literary friends. Yet she also shows the core of integrity and the basis of the ideals that underlay Shelley's many dangerous choices, and the strength of character that enabled her to spin literary gold from her life's darker side. Showing the elements of Shelley's life that went into her unforgettable novel, Nichols paints a vivid picture of early 19th-century London and its people, and succeeds in bringing her subject to life. Whether Shelley was (as the title asserts) "the first science fiction writer" is debatable, but there is no question that Frankenstein has become the quintessential morality tale about modern science. Nichols argues convincingly that Shelley was not saying that Frankenstein was wrong to have created his monster, as many now believe; rather, that his error was in not taking responsibility for it. This lesson is particularly timely as young adults enter a minefield of ethical dilemmas in science and technology.?Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Barnard Biography
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel / Weiser (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573240877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573240871
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Couldn't resist the temptation to write that headline. It's true that this book brings Mary Shelley to life as a fascinatingly modern person; it shows the world she grew up in and how it ended up in Shelley's most famous book; and it brings up, through Shelley's concerns, questions of very modern import. As an adult I enjoyed this book thoroughly and hope it finds a variety of readers who will find in Shelley a kindred spirit. I thought the reading level was pitched a little low for teens, but that shouldn't bother them and the content is definitely appropriate for Young Adults. In fact it will probably offend a lot of parents who are not, shall we say, on Shelley's level... Shelley and her circle of friends might have made some mistakes; they took lots of risks; but they did all this in attempting to be true to their own ideals. A great story which has fascinated scholars for years is made accessible here, in all its gory detail, to teens (and, as I say, adult readers can enjoy it, too).
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By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This biography of Mary Shelly offers very moving insights into the life (sorrows, defeats, triumphs) of the young enfant terrible who brought us the world's first truly "modern" monster, literature's most famous abandoned child. Nichols deftly conjures the fears and desires that allowed young Mary to dream such a terrible vision, and offers invaluable insights into the legacy Mary would ultimately sow. Strongly advised for all fans of Lit, Horror, Gothic Romance, and good old fashioned storytelling.
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