Frankenstein The Novel

The purpose of this part of the website is to explore the original 1818 version of Mary Shelley’s novel. We hope to collate here information about the circumstances of its composition, evaluations of its literary style and structure, and considerations of its place in literary history.

For an accessible introduction to Frankenstein, we recommend you watch the video below. In 5 short minutes, it outlines the plot of the novel, highlights some of its primary themes, sketches out the circumstances in which Frankenstein was written, and identifies its commitment to nature, the emotions and the value of art.

If you are interested in finding out more about the cultural, historical, personal and other contexts within which Frankenstein was written, or about how the novel employs a particular set of literary styles and techniques to present and interrogate its principal themes, please click on the relevant link below:

Frankenstein and the contexts of its composition

Frankenstein: structure and aesthetics

Frankenstein, the Villa Diodati and John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Mary Shelley’s three Frankensteins

For discussions that focus on Frankenstein’s presentation of particular themes (such as knowledge, science, education, gender, and the relationship between individuals and society) please return to the front page of this site and click on the relevant topic.