Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (first published 1818)


In her long introduction Mary Shelley vividly recalled the summer spent at Geneva: the ‘incessant rain’ that ‘confined us for days to the house’; the volumes of ghost stories ‘translated from the German into French’ that fell into their hands, and Byron’s proposition, ‘We will each write a ghost story’…

“I busied myself to think of a story, — a story to rival those which had excited us to this task. One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name.”   Mary Shelley

To see a page of the novel written in Mary Shelley’s hand, click here.

A link to Project Gutenberg’s:


or the Modern Prometheus


 Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley


And to view exhibits on the life and works of Mary Shelley from the Bodleian Library in partnership with the New York Public Library, click right here or on the blue letters under Mary’s portrait.



  1. A haunting and beautiful novel.

    I can’t imagine writing a novel BY HAND. Sometimes I look at Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and It exhausts me to think of the weeks and weeks writing by hand. Not to mention hand cramps…

  2. Wow – kismet! Just watched the extras on the newly re-released box set of “Withnail & I” – and Kevin Jackson mentions that one of the paintings hanging in Withnail’s living room is a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft. So I looked her up. And now this.

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