Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Frankenstein Myth

Everyone knows Frankenstein, and everyone has called the neighbourhood's disagreeable, pernickety uncle (who shoos away cricket playing children) a "Frankenstein" and a monster. No? We have. We have read the Classic Comic series on Frankenstein and know it is written by Mary Shelly, wife of Percy Bysshe Shelly, the poet. However, what we didn't know was that Percy had a hand in shaping the story Mary wrote. Now an effort is on by a certain Robinson who is hard at work stripping "Frankenstein" of Percy's edits and reconstructing and publishing the original book written by Mary. Excerpts from an article in by Jennifer Howard.

If, that is, you believe that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley really was the genius behind one of our most enduring tales of existential horror. Almost from the moment that it was published anonymously on New Year's Day 1818, Frankenstein had readers and critics arguing over its origins. Early rumor held that it wasn't Mary Shelley but her husband, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who deserved the credit. (Or the blame; some early readers were outraged by the novel's idea that a man could play God and create life.) Even after the couple confirmed Mary's authorship and her name appeared on new editions in 1823 and 1831, some critics held on to the idea that Percy was the guiding spirit behind Frankenstein. Read the full story here

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