The text of this Norton Critical Edition is that of the 1818 first edition, published in three volumes by Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones, in which only obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
This text represents what “Frankenstein”'s first readers encountered and is the text favored by scholars.
A special critical section, Composition and Revision, includes essays by M. K. Joseph and Anne Mellor that address the issues surrounding teachers choice of text.
Contemporary perspectives of the text are provided in two sections: Contexts helps place the novel in relation to the mind of its creator through writings by Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John William Polidori; Nineteenth-Century Responses collects six reactions to the book from the years 1818 to 1886.
“Criticism” brings together twelve seminal essays. The emphasis is on range-both critical (psychoanalytic, mythic, new historicist, and feminist essays are included) and chronological (essays span the last thirty years).
Christopher Small, George Lebine, Ellen Moers, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Barbara Johnson, Mary Poovey, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, William Veeder, Anne K. Mellor, Susan Winnett, Marilyn Butler, and Lawrence Lipking provide diverse perspectives.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
About the Series: No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehensive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. Careful editing, first-rate translation, and thorough explanatory annotations allow each textto meet the highest literary standards while remaining accessible to students. Each edition is printed on acid-free paper and every text in the series remains in print. Norton Critical Editions are the choice for excellence in scholarship for students at more than 2,000 universities worldwide.
Almost two centuries after its publication, Frankenstein remains an indisputably classic text and Mary Shelley's finest work. This extensively revised Norton Critical Edition includes new texts and illustrative materials that convey the enduring global conversation about Frankenstein and its author. The text is that of the 1818 first edition, published in three volumes by Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones. It is accompanied by an expansive new preface, explanatory annotations, a map of Geneva and its environs, and seven illustrations, five of them new to the Second Edition. Context is provided in three supporting sections: “Circumstance, Influence, Composition, Revision,” “Reception, Impact, Adaptation,” and “Sources, Influences, Analogues.” Among the Second Edition's new inclusions are historical-cultural studies by Susan Tyler Hitchcock, William St. Clair, and Elizabeth Young; Chris Baldrick on the novel's reception; and David Pirie on the novel's many film adaptations. Related excerpts from the Bible and from John Milton's Paradise Lost are now included, as is Charles Lamb's poem “The Old Familiar Faces.”
“Criticism” collects sixteen major interpretations of Frankenstein, nine of them new to the Second Edition. The new contributors are Peter Brooks, Bette London, Garrett Stewart, James. A. W. Heffernan, Patrick Brantlinger, Jonathan Bate, Anne Mellor, Jane Goodall, and Christa Knellwolf. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797 in London, the daughter of William Godwin—a radical philosopher and novelist, and Mary Wollstonecraft—a renowned feminist and the author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman. She eloped to France with Shelley in 1814, although they were not married until 1816, after the suicide of his first wife. She began work on Frankenstein in 1816 in Switzerland, while they were staying with Lord Byron, and it was published in 1818 to immediate acclaim. She died in London in 1851.