The Annotated Frankenstein

The Annotated Frankenstein

Book - 2012
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Harvard University Press

First published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound, disturbed, and fascinated readers for generations. One of the most haunting and enduring works ever written in English, it has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in virtually every medium, making the Frankenstein myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel. Now, this freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife with unmatched detail and vitality.

From the first decade after publication, “Frankenstein” became a byword for any new, disturbing developments in science, technology, and human imagination. The editors’ Introduction explores the fable’s continuing presence in popular culture and intellectual life as well as the novel’s genesis and composition. Mary Shelley’s awareness of European politics and history, her interest in the poets and philosophical debates of the day, and especially her genius in distilling her personal traumas come alive in this engaging essay.

The editors’ commentary, placed conveniently alongside the text, provides stimulating company. Their often surprising observations are drawn from a lifetime of reading and teaching the novel. A wealth of illustrations, many in color, immerses the reader in Shelley’s literary and social world, in the range of artwork inspired by her novel, as well as in Frankenstein’s provocative cinematic career. The fresh light thatThe Annotated Frankenstein casts on a story everyone thinks is familiar will delight readers while deepening their understanding of Mary Shelley’s novel and the Romantic era in which it was created.

Published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound readers for generations and has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in every medium, making the myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s novel. This freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife.

Baker & Taylor
A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator, in an annotated edition that offers insights into Shelley's literary and social worlds.

Book News
Honoring Shelley's 1818 classic, this volume features elegant page design and production on cream-colored stock, interesting and relevant illustrations in b&w and color, and an abundance of illuminating annotations. Wolfson (English, Princeton U.) and Levao (English, Rutgers U.) offer an extensive introductory essay, and the book concludes with an intriguing and thorough timeline that interweaves cultural references and biography, and listings for further reading and viewing (websites, stage and file versions and sequels, biographies of the author, various texts of Frankenstein, and critical issues). The volume measures 9.5x10". Belknap Press is an imprint of Harvard U. Press. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012
ISBN: 9780674055520
Branch Call Number: 823.7 Sh44Z, Sh44a
Characteristics: 387 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Wolfson, Susan J. 1948-
Levao, Ronald


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Nov 30, 2015

I found the annotations--both text and photographs--greatly enhanced the story. "Frankenstein" was influenced by the times and by Mary Shelley's very interesting life. When I requested this from the library I didn't realize how in depth it was, but was very glad I decided to read it.


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