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The Annotated Frankenstein

The Annotated Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Edited by Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao

ISBN 9780674055520

Publication date: 10/31/2012

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An annotated and illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's classic work, celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018.

First published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound, disturbed, and fascinated readers for generations. One of the most haunting and enduring works ever written in English, it has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in virtually every medium, making the Frankenstein myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel. Now, this freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife with unmatched detail and vitality.

From the first decade after publication, “Frankenstein” became a byword for any new, disturbing developments in science, technology, and human imagination. The editors’ Introduction explores the fable’s continuing presence in popular culture and intellectual life as well as the novel’s genesis and composition. Mary Shelley’s awareness of European politics and history, her interest in the poets and philosophical debates of the day, and especially her genius in distilling her personal traumas come alive in this engaging essay.

The editors’ commentary, placed conveniently alongside the text, provides stimulating company. Their often surprising observations are drawn from a lifetime of reading and teaching the novel. A wealth of illustrations, many in color, immerses the reader in Shelley’s literary and social world, in the range of artwork inspired by her novel, as well as in Frankenstein’s provocative cinematic career. The fresh light that The Annotated Frankenstein casts on a story everyone thinks is familiar will delight readers while deepening their understanding of Mary Shelley’s novel and the Romantic era in which it was created.

Praise

  • The Annotated Frankenstein…should appeal to scholars familiar with the novel as well as those exploring it for the first time. The editors, Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao, situate the novel in its philosophical, literary, biographical and historical contexts, and provide apt illustrations and useful appendices (including examinations of the revised edition of 1831 and a timeline which juxtaposes the novel’s episodes with concurrent historical events). Its expansive, cream-coloured pages and generous margins render the volume a world unto itself, while emphasizing the worldly issues Shelley addressed in her uncanny tale.

    —Michael Saler, Times Literary Supplement

Authors

  • Susan J. Wolfson is a leading expert on the poetry of John Keats. Her many books include Reading John Keats, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey: An Annotated Edition, The Annotated Frankenstein, and John Keats (A Longman Cultural Edition). She is Professor of English at Princeton University.
  • Ronald Levao is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Book Details

  • 400 pages
  • 9 x 9-1/2 inches
  • Belknap Press

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