All rights reserved. Born on a dark and stormy night, Frankenstein ; or, the Modern Prometheus is a true masterpiece of terror that began as a fireside ghost story and grew into a worldwide phenomenon. Its teenage author, the future Mary Shelley , drew upon her nightmares to come up with a story as challenging as it is chilling. Read about "Frankenstein" electronic plants. The story took shape during the year without a summer, as came to be known. The eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano on the island of Sumbawa part of modern-day Indonesia had released vast amounts ash, rock, and sulfuric dust into the air, which dramatically lowered temperatures across many areas of the globe the following year. Reports of odd weather came in from all quarters in summer frosts in North America, red snow in Italy, and eight weeks of nonstop rain in Ireland. The bizarre weather in also left an indelible mark on culture and literature.
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Who Was Mary Shelley?
Audio: Listen to this story. To hear more feature stories, download the Audm app for your iPhone. She herself had no name of her own. The rain patters on the windowpane; a bleak light flickers from a dying candle. Filmography recapitulating politico-chicanery, the age of the superhero is about to yield to the age of the monster. But what about the baby? Most lately, it has been taken as a cautionary tale for Silicon Valley technologists, an interpretation that derives less from the novel than from later stage and film versions, especially the film, and that took its modern form in the aftermath of Hiroshima. In that spirit, M. This is a way to make use of the novel, but it involves stripping out nearly all the sex and birth, everything female—material first mined by Muriel Spark, in a biography of Shelley published in , on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of her death.
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When not known as the wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley , she is recognized as the daughter of the celebrated radical writer Mary Wollstonecraft and the equally well-known novelist and political philosopher William Godwin. Even the sole recognition won by her own efforts, the "monster abhorr'd" of her great novel Frankenstein , is tainted by popular associations with stage and cinema versions of the monster which have little to do with her "Modern Prometheus. There is some warrant for seeing Mary Shelley as a reflection of her parents, for both mother and father were extraordinary. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, published the classic manifesto of sexual equality, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Her father, William Godwin, established his preeminence in radical British political thought with his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and won a permanent place in literary history with his novel Caleb Williams , often considered the first English detective novel.
She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Shelley's mother died less than a month after giving birth to her. She was raised by her father who provided her with a rich if informal education, encouraging her to adhere to his own anarchist political theories.