First Edition of Frankenstein

 

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The novel was first published in 1818, New Year’s day, in London, anonymously in three volumes, dedicated to William Godwin.The novel was published separately, again in 3 volumes, and was not a part of any collection. John Murray in fact, rejected the novel when Mary Shelley sent it to him. Percy Shelley sent a copy of the novel to publishers, specifying he was not the author of the piece. Nonetheless, many literary figures of the time, including Sir Walter Scott, believed Percy Shelley to be the author.  The second edition, published in 1923 in France, had Mary Shelley’s name on it. The first edition, as we discovered, is being sold for $100 000 today (fun fact).

Mary Shelley quotes Milton’s Paradise Lost in the title page of the first edition:

“Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay/ To mold me man? Did I solicit thee/ From darkness to promote me?”

This not only suggests the Gothic theme by reflecting on the concept of ‘darkness’,  it also further circles back to the question: who is the monster in the novel, and who is to blame for the unfortunate chain of events in it? Additionally, Milton is a highly religious literary figure, which seems fitting to the underlying theme of religion  explored in the novel.

Work Cited:

http://shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/first-edition-of-frankenstein

 

by: Dolores, Maya

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