Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (Edition 1831)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797 - 1851)

A mentally unstable genius, Victor Frankenstein, inspired by the dreams of ancient alchemists and empowered by modern science, creates a humanoid but fails to nurture and educate it after it comes to life. It wanders alone into a hostile world, where fear of its size and ugliness subjects it to violence and ostracism, which in time it learns to blame upon its maker. As compensation for its suffering, it demands that he create a companion with whom to share its outcast life. Moved by the creature's account of its sufferings, the scientist agrees, but a long period of procrastination awakens doubts that ultimately cause him to break his promise. In retaliation, the creature begins a campaign of vengeance. Although its serious crimes are limited to those which will wound his maker's heart, Victor imagines much more widespread harm, supposing the human race itself to be the creature's intended victim. There then follows a chase into the frozen north, which the creature prolongs so as to destroy his pursuer by exposure and exhaustion.

This story, narrated by Victor, forms a frame surrounding the creature's tale of its wanderings, education, and unhappy encounters with human beings. Victor's narrative is itself framed within a series of letters written by the young mariner who rescues him from an iceberg while engaged in his own ambitious scientific endeavor, searching for the North Pole.

This novel was begun while the author and her lover, Percy Shelley, were in hiding from her father and Percy's wife on the shores of Lake Geneva, where they were the frequent house guests of Lord Byron. The young people all began to write "ghost" stories, but only Mary's was destined to enjoy success. The novel was published in 1818. Percy contributed a preface and later made extensive emendations. After his death Mary herself thoroughly revised the text and published it again in 1831. This is the text read in this project. (Summary by Thomas Copeland)

Genre(s): Literary Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Part 00: Intro & Preface Thomas A. Copeland
Play 01 Part 01: Letter 1 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 02 Part 02: Letter 2 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 03 Part 03: Letter 3 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 04 Part 04: Letter 4 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 05 Part 05: Chapter 01 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 06 Part 06: Chapter 02 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 07 Part 07: Chapter 03 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 08 Part 08: Chapter 04 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 09 Part 09: Chapter 05 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 10 Part 10: Chapter 06 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 11 Part 11: Chapter 07 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 12 Part 12: Chapter 08 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 13 Part 13: Chapter 09 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 14 Part 14: Chapter 10 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 15 Part 15: Chapter 11 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 16 Part 16: Chapter 12 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 17 Part 17: Chapter 13 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 18 Part 18: Chapter 14 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 19 Part 19: Chapter 15 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 20 Part 20: Chapter 16 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 21 Part 21: Chapter 17 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 22 Part 22: Chapter 18 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 23 Part 23: Chapter 19 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 24 Part 24: Chapter 20 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 25 Part 25: Chapter 21 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 26 Part 26: Chapter 22 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 27 Part 27: Chapter 23 Thomas A. Copeland
Play 28 Part 28: Chapter 24 Thomas A. Copeland