By Mark Arnold
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the book that changed the world
Monster: Publishing to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a movie starring Elle Fanning as Mary Shelley, Monster is a brilliant fictionalized biography akin to The Other Boleyn Girl.
Frankenstein: Two centuries ago this year, the young woman who invented science fiction was only 20 when she wrote the book that became Frankenstein. Mary Shelley said, “People ask how I, then a young girl, could think of, and dilate upon, so hideous subject?”
Gothic Romance: Her father gave her a far better education than any woman of the age could hope for and made her the victim of ongoing incest. At 15, she became involved with one of the greatest poets in England and made love to him on her mother’s grave. When she was 16, she escaped from home by running away for a six week walking tour of Europe and formed a ménage a trois with Shelley and her sister.
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein: Her immediate influences were two of the greatest poets of the age. Her lover, Percy Shelley, coached her to expand her understanding of writing. Her mentor, Lord Byron, challenged her to prove she was as good a writer as the best poet-philosophers of the Enlightenment. Both men admired her mind, and both wanted more. By the time she was 20, she published the book that changed the world.
[Available as audio]