Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Columbia University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 208 pages
At last available in a single volume: comprehensive overviews and concise analyses of the key critical texts and approaches to the most-studied works of literature. By assembling extracts from essays, reviews, and articles, the columbia critical guides provide students with ready access to the most important secondary writings on one or more texts by a given writer.
-- Offers a balanced and nuanced approach to criticism, drawing on a wide array of British and American sources -- Explains criticism in terms of key approaches, allowing students to grasp the central issues for each work -- Is edited by a noted scholar who specializes in the writer or work in question -- Includes notes and a comprehensive bibliography and index.
Mary Shelley's first novel has established itself as one of modernity's most compelling and ominous myths. frankenstein poignantly captures the spirit of the early 1800s as an age of transition tragically divided between scientific progress and religious conservatism, revolutionary reform and conformist reaction.
This guide encapsulates the most important critical reactions to a novel that straddles the realms of both "high" literature and popular culture. The selections shed light on frankenstein's historical and sociopolitical relevance, its innovative representations of science, gender, and identity, as well as its problematic cultural location between academic critique and creative production. Ranging from the first reviews in 1818 to postmodern readings of the mid-1990s, the guide illuminates one of British literature's most spectacular novels.