Conceived as part of a literary game among friends in 1816, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is today regarded as a classic piece of 19th century literature. The story begins with the journey of an adventurer, Robert Walton, who saves the life of a man at the North Pole. That man, Victor Frankenstein, tells Walton about his experiments with the creation of life and how he ended up at the North Pole. Through this simple plot device, Shelley was able to deal with serious real-world issues like acceptance, tolerance, and understanding, as well as the universal human need for companionship and love. The novel, of course, inspired a host of films, from the 1931 classic starring Boris Karloff to Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, and more recently, a series of novels by Dean Koontz. This version, though slightly abridged, retains much of the original dialogue and remains true to Shelley's brilliant vision.
Mary Shelley (1797-1851), née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, was born in London, the second daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, well known feminist, philosopher, educator, and writer, and William Godwin, famous English philosopher, novelist, and journalist. She was best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, written when she was eighteen and published when she was twenty-one. She was married to the Romantic writer Percy Bysshe Shelley.