Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss doctor, succeeds in animating a collection of human body parts he acquires from hospitals and cemeteries with disastrous results. The doctor names the creation after himself but is frightened at the monstrous thing he has made and decides to return it to a state of death, however the creature has disappeared into the countryside. Frankenstein is taken in by an elderly blind man who teaches him to speak but rejects him when he becomes aware of the monster’s appearance. The monster is taunted and beaten by the fearful villagers and becomes enraged. Frankenstein murders the doctor’s brother and then a young boy and girl. He returns to Frankenstein’s lab and agrees to spare the doctor’s life in return for a bride. The monster promises to take his mate deep into the forest far away from any people. The doctor agrees but has second thoughts and destroys his work after considering the possibility of a monstrous race. The creature flies into a rage and kills the doctor’s assistant. The monster then kills Frankenstein’s wife for revenge and the traumatized doctor dies soon thereafter. The monster, filed with rage and self-loathing takes his own life. Frankenstein has been made into several films including Frankenstein (1910), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Frankenstein (1970), Young Frankenstein (1974), and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994). This novel is a classic in the horror fiction genre.
Mary Shelley was born in England in 1797 to affluent and well known parents. She married the poet Percy Shelley and wrote Frankenstein when she was only nineteen. Her life was filled with tragedy and Frankenstein was her only success. She died in 1851 at the age of fifty-three. Her other works include The Last Man, The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, Lodore, and Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of Europe.