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This guide contains resources related to the study of 'Frankenstein', the monster created by Mary Shelley.

60 second recap - Frankenstein


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Mary Shelley made an anonymous but powerful debut into the world of literature when Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus was published in March, 1818. Only nineteen when she began writing her story, Shelley was visiting poet Lord Byron at Lake Geneva in Switzerland with her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, when Byron challenged each of his guests to write a ghost story. Settled around Byron's fireplace in June 1816, the intimate group of intellectuals had their imaginations and the stormy weather as the stimulus and inspiration for ghoulish visions. A few nights later, Mary Shelley, who once said, "My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings," imagined the "hideous phantasm of man" who became the confused yet deeply sensitive creature in Frankenstein. 

Plot Summary: Frankenstein. (2003). In DISCovering Authors. Detroit: Gale.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's first drawing of the Frankenstein monster.

Shelley, Frankenstein. (2011). In UXL Biographies. Detroit: UXL.

Rating: M            Duration: 58:26

Description: Creator of a modern monster, visionary of a scientific future, celebrity, sexual experimenter and struggling mother; Mary Shelley is one of the most enduring novelists and one of the most remarkable. This program reveals how Mary Shelley's personal life influenced her most famous work and why her ideas resonate so clearly today. Shelley, Mary. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Authors, English Source: ABC 15/05/2005

Rating: PG   Duration: 58:10

Description: Peter Ackroyd examines how Romantic writers reacted to the Industrial Revolution, exploring the birth of the modern notion of nature. Poet John Clare found freedom in the open countryside, but the shift in cultural attitudes that came with the Enclosure Acts drove him insane, while nature and scientific progress inspired Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - a prophetic novel which is still relevant today.

About Mary Shelley

Born: August 30, 1797 in London, England
Died: February 01, 1851 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Other Names : Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft (British novelist, 1797-1851); Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft; Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; Shelley, Mary W.
Nationality: British
Occupation: Novelist


Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. (2016). In The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™. New York: Columbia University Press.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. (2003). In DISCovering Authors. Detroit: Gale.