In the High Peaks

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Annotated Frankenstein Arrived Today and Other Notes

The Annotated Frankenstein that I now hold in my arms is a 2012 publication. It was edited by Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao and was published by Harvard University Press. It is an oversized book with the text of the novel and lavish annotations in the wide margins of each page.

My reason for ordering, other than the high acclaim the book received after publication, was that although I had devoured and studied Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley when I was 21, just 43 years ago in 1975, I always wanted to know more about Mary Shelley's life and the story of her writing this book. What motivated her to write this particular novel and not another, for example?

So that is my mission. I have a recent paperback version, though I'll admit I still own my first literally crumbling Penguin paperback, with its minuscule print.  As a Gothic fanatic, I know I'll enjoy Frankenstein the second time around, but I will be interested to see the thoughts and ideas I form now, after decades of a reading life.

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