Published: October 2013
Frankenstein is an epistolary novel published on January 1, 1818 by Mary Shelley. It relates the creation by a young Swiss scientist, Victor Frankenstein, of a living being assembled with parts of dead flesh. Horrified by the hideous appearance of the being to whom he gave life, Frankenstein abandons his "monster". But the latter, endowed with intelligence, avenges himself after having been rejected by his creator and persecuted by society.The narrative system is based on a series of abysmal narratives embedded in each other. The general framework is that of an attempt at polar exploration by Robert Walton; inside is the story of the life of Victor Frankenstein, collected by the explorer on the pack ice; and lastly, the latter contains Frankenstein's narration to the monster, in particular the torments he has endured.The novel originated in the summer of 1816 in Switzerland, a group of young romantics, including Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, her lover and future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their friend Lord Byron. The latter proposes, to pass the time, that each one write a story of terror. Byron and another friend write The Vampire, a short story that launches the theme of vampirism in literature; it is, however, Mary - then nineteen years old - who signs with Frankenstein, the most elaborate and successful text.Since its publication, Frankenstein is cataloged in Gothic novel; it is considered by most to be a masterpiece of this literary genre, which was previously decried by many critics. A story that is both horrifying and philosophical, Mary Shelley's work is also one of the forerunners of science fiction.The immediate and continuous success of Frankenstein rests on foundations different from those of previous Gothic novels, if not in their aspect, at least in their essence. Substituting horror for terror, Mary Shelley's novel is free of all marvels, privileges internalization and is anchored in rationality.AuthorMary Shelley (born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) (1797 - 1851), is an English writer, novelist, novelist, playwright, essayist, biographer and author of travel stories. She is best known for her novel Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus.Daughter of the feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft and political writer William Godwin, she loses her mother when she is only eleven days old. His father remarries four years later. He offers his daughter a rich education and encourages him to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began an affair with a married man, a supporter of his father, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Accompanied by Claire Clairmont, the daughter of Mary's mother-in-law, the couple travels across Europe. Over the next two years, Mary and Percy face permanent debt and the death of their daughter. They get married in 1816, after the suicide of Percy's first wife.In 1816, during a stay near Geneva, Mary (now Mary Shelley) wrote her first novel, Frankenstein. In 1818, the Shelley left the United Kingdom for Italy, where their second and third children died, before Mary Shelley gave birth to her son, Percy Florence Shelley, who alone survived. In 1822, her husband drowned in the Gulf of Spezia, during a storm. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and, as a result, devoted herself entirely to her son's education and writing career. The last ten years of his life are marked by illness. She died of a brain tumor on February 1, 1851.After the death of her husband, Mary Shelley lives for a year with Leigh Hunt and her family in Genoa, where she frequently meets Lord Byron and transcribes his poems. She decided to live with her pen and for her son, but her financial situation is precarious. On July 23, 1823, she leaves Genoa for England and settles with her father and stepmother in Strand (London) until a small advance from her father-in-law allows her to stay nearby.