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Frankenstein

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Mary Shelley's story of Victor Frankenstein and the creature he makes from cadavers and then rejects - only for the monster to take his revenge

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Mary Shelley's (1797-1851) Gothic story of a Swiss natural philosopher, Victor Frankenstein, and the creature he makes from parts of cadavers and which he then abandons, horrified by his appearance, and never names. Rejected by all humans who see him, the monster takes his revenge on Frankenstein, killing those dear to him. Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, prompted by a competition she had with Byron and her husband Percy Shelley to tell a ghost story while they were rained in in the summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva.

The image of Mary Shelley, above, was first exhibited in 1840.

With

Karen O'Brien
Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

Michael Rossington
Professor of Romantic Literature at Newcastle University

And

Jane Thomas
Professor of Victorian and Early 20th Century Literature at the University of Hull

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

55 minutes

Last on

Thursday 21:30

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Karen O'Brien at the University of Oxford

Michael Rossington at Newcastle University

Jane Thomas at the University of Hull

Frankenstein: Shelley’s Ghost: Reshaping the image of a literary family – Bodleian Library

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus - The Shelley-Godwin Archive

Frankenstein – Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Chris Baldick, In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing (Clarendon Press, 1990)

E. J. Clery, Women’s Gothic:  From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley (Liverpool University Press, 2000)

Daisy Hay, The Making of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Bodleian Library, 2019)

Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder:  How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (HarperPress, 2009)

Margaret Homans, Bearing the Word; Language and Female Experience in Nineteenth-century Women’s Writing (University of Chicago Press)

George Levine (ed.), One Culture: Essays in Science and Literature (University of Wisconsin Press), especially ‘Frankenstein: A Feminist Critique of Science’ by Anne K. Mellor

Anne K. Mellor, Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters (Routledge, 1990)

Robert Miles, Gothic Writing 1750-1820: A Genealogy (Manchester University Press, 2014)

Timothy Morton, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: A Sourcebook (Routledge, 2002)

Karen O’Brien and Peter Garside (eds.), The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 2, English and British Fiction, 1750-1820 (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Fiona Sampson, In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein (Profile, 2018)

Esther Schor (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Mary Shelley (ed. J. Paul Hunter), Frankenstein (first published 1818; Norton, 1996)

Mary Shelley (ed. Marilyn Butler), Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (first published 1818; Oxford University Press, 1998)

Mary Shelley (ed. Charles E. Robinson), The Original Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus:  The Original Two-Volume Novel of 1816-1817 from the Bodleian Library Manuscripts (Vintage, 2009)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (ed. Susan Wolfson), Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (Longman, 2003)

Miranda Seymour, Mary Shelley (Faber and Faber, 2011)

Andrew Smith, Gothic Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2013)

Andrew Smith (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Frankenstein (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

William St Clair, The Godwins and the Shelleys:  The Biography of a Family (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991)

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror (first published 1886; Penguin, 2003)

John Turney, Frankenstein’s Footsteps: Science, Genetics and Popular Culture (Yale University Press, 2000)

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (first published 1890; Wordsworth, 1992)

Angela Wright, Mary Shelley: Gothic Authors: Critical Revisions (University of Wales Press, 2018)

 

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