This week marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic science fiction novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The teenage author created the iconic tale after the poet Byron challenged her to come up with an original ghost story. The original edition—wouldn’t you love to own a copy—was published anonymously and it wasn’t until 1831 when the second edition was released that Mary Shelley’s name appeared on the title page.
For the last two centuries, Shelley’s novel has usually been interpreted as a cautionary tale about unrestricted science, or about the consequences of modernization and social change. But for me, first reading the book as a ten year-old, it was a story about the complex relationships between fathers and sons.
If all that you know about Frankenstein comes from cheesy horror films, why not download a free copy of the book from the Gutenberg Project right here.