Tag: mary shelley

Color photo of Frankenstein's monster looking upwards

5 Differences Between ‘Frankenstein’ and the Film Adaptations

Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley is hailed as the first real science-fiction novel. Following Dr. Victor Frankenstein, it chronicles Frankenstein’s journey to create life and his clash with his creation after he succeeds. Touching on themes of ambition, lost of innocence, revenge, humanity, responsibility and creattion,  Frankenstein is a dense but very worthwhile classic of its genre. However, it unfortunately has been largely displaced in the popular consciousness by its film adaptations. To celebrate its publication anniversary, here are five facts about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its many differences to work that adapted its spooky tale.


Victor Frankenstein stands contemplating the sea in the cover to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Image Via Goodreads

1. The Framing Device

The original novel uses a framing device to tell its story. Captain Walton, a sailor in the arctic, picks up Victor Frankenstein on the ice and brings him aboard his ship. There, Frankenstein tells the tale of how he got here, turning the entire book into one long flashback. The Creature confronts Captain Walton at the end, vowing it will destroy itself via funeral pyre. However, Captain Walton is a character who is very rarely adapted, the framing device being almost entirely omitted from films based on or inspired by the book.


Fritz, played by Dwight Fyre, threatens the Monster, played by Boris Karloff with a burning torch
Image Via Telegraph

2. There was no Igor

Dr. Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant, Igor, is purely a creation of popular culture. In the original novel, Frankenstein worked entirely alone, creating the monster in a hidden room at his college. He kept the experiment entirely secret and had no outside help at all. The character of an assistant first appeared in 1931’s Frankenstein film in the form of Fritz, before being codified, ironically enough, by Mel Brook’s spoof film Son of Frankenstein.


Frankenstein confronts his creation in a 1934 illustration from the novel
Image Via Goodreads

3. The Monster Speaks

The Monster is a very different character from the mute, lumbering brute that was made famous in the Universal Horror films. Although he begins as a borderline feral creature after his ‘birth’, the Monster slowly learns language and reasoning over the course of the novel. He becomes extremely intelligent and articulate, often spending pages contemplating his unnatural existence. He even learns how to make clothes and uses weapons to defend himself as he survives in the wilderness. Compared to his film counterpart, he’s a wholly different beast.


Victor Frankenstein and Fritz standing over the Monster on the slab, preparing to give it life
Image Via BBC

4. The Creation is Offscreen

Doubtlessly one of the most famous in cinema is the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. Everything about it is iconic, from the slab the monster rests upon to the flashing laboratory equipment to the bolt of lightning that brings him to life to Frankenstein proclaiming “Its alive, its alive!” But the sequence in question actually isn’t in the original novel! Yes, the creation of the Monster in the book is entirely offscreen and left to the reader’s imagination. Oddly, this makes it more compelling to the imagination…how did Frankenstein do it? We’ll never know but it certainly makes good food for thought.


Victor Frankenstein leans over the inert form of the monster in his lab
Image Via Collider

5. Frankenstein Dies

In the novel, Victor Frankenstein pays for his hubris. After trekking the Monster to the Arctic, he collapses on the ice and is rescued by Captain Walton. But it is too late for him and after telling the Captain his story, he expires. Subsequent adaptations have spared Frankenstein his untimely demise, doubtlessly to keep a relatively happy ending.

What are your favorite moments from the book that didn’t make it to the screen?


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Mary Shelley

10 Quotes from the Distinguished Mary Shelley

I have to say, one of my fondest memories of college was when my professor (Professor English and yes that was his name) assigned us to read Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein. The dark and beautiful work has stood the test of time and become one of the most famous works of literature the world has seen. It simply came from a competition amongst peers as to who could write the best horror story. Shelley even published it anonymously; it wasn’t until the second edition that everyone discovered it was her.


This woman broke boundaries and her success ran even with her husband’s, which, at that time, was surprising. Today is her 221st birthday, but this author should have a special place in our memory no matter what day it is. Here are ten quotes by the distinguished Mary Shelley.


1. “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”



2. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”



3. “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”



4. “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”



5. “I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”



6. “How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.”



7. “The beginning is always today.”



8. “The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”



9. “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”



10. “The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.”




Image Via GIPHY




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Celebrate ‘Frankenstein’s 200th Birthday with Director’s Cut of the Original Book

Earlier this year, the world reached the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. On January 1st, 1818, the world was introduced to one of the greatest novels ever bestowed upon us. Mary Shelley, the wife of Percy Shelley, published the novel that deals with science, humanity, and what it means to be alive. Recently, scientists and literary geeks came together to completely dissect Shelley’s 1831 novel, and investigate some of the history behind the author’s work.


mary shelley

Image Via Famous Biographies


As history would suggest, Mary Shelley penned the original Frankenstein novel alongside her husband, Sir Percy Shelley, amongst other greats at the lake house of Lord Byron at Lake Geneva. According to legend, the group of friends banded together to create various horror stories of their choosing. Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein in this event’s honor. 



Image Via BBC


The version of Shelley’s novel we know and love today is a heavily revised version of the one she originally created. The initial drafts drew upon revisions given to her by her husband and other like-minded individuals. The edition that is being released this month is a facsimile based upon versions of the story she had kept locked away in notebooks with notes from her and her husband. Such notes indicate a heavy editing process. 


mary and percy

Image Via glossophilia.org


On March 15th, readers will be able to purchase up to 1,000 copies of the facsimile of the original copy, and it’s very exciting to think of what we might be able to expect from such an edition!





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Mary Shelley Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Tragic Time in Bath Is About to Be Commemorated

Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, apparently spent enough time in the town of Bath for the city to commemorate her with a plaque. The honor will be outside the famous Pump Room and Roman baths, beside a trapdoor in the pavement. It will cover the only surviving part of the print shop where Mary Shelley rented a room and stayed. It was demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the cellar.


Mary Shelley—at the time Godwin—wrote much of her book during the months she lived in Bath. Months where she dealt with a multitude of her own hardships. Her father refused to see her since her elopement with Percy Shelley. She also dealt with the suicide of her half-sister Fanny, and the difficulty surrounding the details of her own marriage, which was only possible due to the suicide of his pregnant first wife.


Despite Mary Shelley’s recalling of events of the summer of 1816, she never mentioned Bath. “It’s almost as if she spent those five months here as an object of scandal, without wanting anyone to know where she was – and the secret has been kept for 200 years,” said Sheila Hannon, the founder of the Show of Strength theatre company, who leads Mary Shelley walks through the city. “How she managed to get anything written at all is astonishing, but perhaps the book was her salvation. Her time in Bath is a very dark story, and she deserves to be celebrated.”


Sheila Hannon takes visitors to Bath on a Mary Shelley walk through the city.

Image via Zuleika Henry


Hannon spearheads the campaign to celebrate Mary Shelley’s time in Bath, and is supported by members of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. The plaque will be unveiled by Christopher Frayling, an expert on horror films and the author of a recent study on Frankenstein.


Featured Image Via Ireland’s Own. 

the frankenstein chronicles

Netflix Scores New ‘Frankenstein’ Adaptation Starring GOT’s Ned Stark

The Frankenstein Chronicles has already begun airing in the UK, with fans clamoring for confirmation of a third series, and Netflix have just scored the US distribution rights for the Sean Bean-led adaptation. 


ned stark sean bean

Image Via Bustle


While Mary Shelley’s monster has inspired endless takes and twists on the classic story, The Frankenstein Chronicles is different. The tale begins with Sean Bean’s detective inspector discovering a child’s body. It transpires, however, that it is not a complete child. It is, in fact, a person made up of various different body parts. Bean’s character takes on the task of discovering what went down. 


While the show has aired on the UK’s ITV channel, once it hits Netflix, it will be billed as a Netflix original. Netflix will also be in a position to fund future seasons. Fans, rejoice!



Featured Image Via Bloody Disgusting