Remarkably, a nineteen-year-old, writing her first novel, penned a tale that combines tragedy, morality, social commentary, and a thoughtful examination of the very nature of knowledge, writes best-selling author Leslie S. Klinger in his foreword to The New Annotated Frankenstein. Despite its undeniable status as one of the most influential works of fiction ever written, Mary Shelley's novel is often reductively dismissed as the wellspring for tacky monster films or as a cautionary tale about experimental science gone haywire. Now, two centuries after the first publication of Frankenstein, Klinger revives Shelley's gothic masterpiece by reproducing her original text with the most lavishly illustrated and comprehensively annotated edition to date.
Featuring over 200 illustrations and nearly 1,000 annotations, this sumptuous volume recaptures Shelley's early nineteenth-century world with historical precision and imaginative breadth, tracing the social and political roots of the author's revolutionary brand of Romanticism. Braiding together decades of scholarship with his own keen insights, Klinger recounts Frankenstein's indelible contributions to the realms of science fiction, feminist theory, and modern intellectual history--not to mention film history and popular culture. The result of Klinger's exhaustive research is a multifaceted portrait of one of Western literature's most divinely gifted prodigies, a young novelist who defied her era's restrictions on female ambitions by independently supporting herself and her children as a writer and editor.
Born in a world of men in the midst of a political and an emerging industrial revolution, Shelley crafted a horror story that, beyond its incisive commentary on her own milieu, is widely recognized as the first work of science fiction. The daughter of a pioneering feminist and an Enlightenment philosopher, Shelley lived and wrote at the center of British Romanticism, the "exuberant, young movement" that rebelled against tradition and reason and with a rebellious scream gave birth to a world of gods and monsters (del Toro).
Following his best-selling The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft and The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Klinger not only considers Shelley's original 1818 text but, for the first time in any annotated volume, traces the effects of her significant revisions in the 1823 and 1831 editions. With an afterword by renowned literary scholar Anne K. Mellor, The New Annotated Frankenstein celebrates the prescient genius and undying legacy of the world's first truly modern myth.
The New Annotated Frankenstein includes:
- Nearly 1,000 notes that provide information and historical context on every aspect of Frankenstein and of Mary Shelley's life
- Over 200 illustrations, including original artwork from the 1831 edition and dozens of photographs of real-world locations that appear in the novel
- Extensive listings of films and theatrical adaptations
- An introduction by Guillermo del Toro and an afterword by Anne K. Mellor
About the Author
Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was born to well-known parents: author and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and philosopher William Godwin.Unfortunately, Wollstonecraft died as the result of Mary's birth. Mary was raised by her father and a much resented stepmother. When Mary was sixteen, she met the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a devotee of her father's teachings. In 1816, the two of them travelled to Geneva to stay with Lord Byron. One evening, while they shared ghost stories, Lord Byron proposed that they each write a ghost story of their own. Frankenstein
was Shelley's contribution.
Other works include Mathilda, The Last Man,
and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley died in 1851 at the age of fifty-three.
Anne K. Mellor is a professor of English and women's studies at UCLA.
Leslie S. Klinger is the multi-award-winning author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, New Annotated Dracula, New Annotated Frankenstein, and The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, Volumes I and II. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Guillermo del Toro is an Academy Award(R)-winning film director as well as a screenwriter, producer, and New York Times bestselling novelist. He is best known for his foreign fantasy films, especially Pan's Labyrinth, and American mainstream movies like The Shape of Water. Del Toro has published multiple bestselling adult novels with HarperCollins, including The Strain, which was adapted into a TV series by FX, and he is the creator of Trollhunters, Netflix's most-watched children's series.
A stunning one-stop emporium of all things Frankenstein, a standout volume even in the limitless sea of editions of this book.--Steve Donoghue
A cornucopia of background information. . . . Teachers will be delighted to have this material in one volume. Students will find the notes illuminating. General readers will be fascinated to uncover the many layers behind the writing of Shelley's novel. . . . Klinger's edition allows readers to understand the complexities of the novel as well as the difficulties endured by its author. Only then can one be truly inspired by Mary Shelley's genius and her bravery.--Charlotte Gordon
A beautifully illustrated hardcover keepsake.--Jill Lepore