Frankenstein: The 1818 Text

Publisher: Penguin Classics
For the bicentennial of its first publication, Mary Shelley’s original 1818 text, introduced by National Book Critics Circle award-winner Charlotte Gordon.
 
2018 marks the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s seminal novel. For the first time, Penguin Classics will publish the original 1818 text, which preserves the hard-hitting and politically-charged aspects of Shelley’s original writing, as well as her unflinching wit and strong female voice. This edition also emphasizes Shelley’s relationship with her mother—trailblazing feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who penned A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—and demonstrates her commitment to carrying forward her mother’s ideals, placing her in the context of a feminist legacy rather than the sole female in the company of male poets, including Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.
 
This edition includes a new introduction and suggestions for further reading by National Book Critics Circle award-winner and Shelley expert Charlotte Gordon, literary excerpts and reviews selected by Gordon, and a chronology and essay by preeminent Shelley scholar Charles E. Robinson.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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LETTER I

To Mrs. Saville, England.

St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—.

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is...
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PRAISE FOR

“Gordon’s framing is the real standout of the anniversary edition (…) Highly recommended.”
N. K. Jemisin, The New York Times Book Review

Frankenstein is as efficient and resonant a reference today as it was in 1818. . . In this bicentennial year, much will be written about Frankenstein, its adaptations, and whether there exists a definitive or superior version of the novel. . . The 1818 Text is reflective of the thrill and nervous energy that ushered in a new era of science and society. . . But part of what makes it a little unsettling is what makes it so interesting: The chance to watch a 200-year-old novel develop. In a story that's reflected so much of the last two hundred years, and centers so much on choices, storytelling, and the potential for change, it only makes sense that Frankenstein reflects changes within its own creator”
—Genevieve Valentine, NPR