31.10.17

Monster Mash

Christopher Frayling. Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years. Reel Art Press (31 Oct. 2017)
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On New Year's Day 1818, Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein was first published in an anonymous three-volume edition of 500 copies. Some thought the book was too radical in implication. A few found the central theme intriguing... no-one predicted its success. Since then, there have been many, many adaptations - 120 films alone, at the last count - on screen, stage, in novels, comics and graphic novels, in advertisements and even on cereal packets. From a Regency nightmare, Frankenstein became a cuddly childhood companion - thoroughly munstered, so to speak. The story has been interpreted as a feminist allegory of birthing, an ecological reading of mother earth, an attack on masculinist science, the origin of science fiction, an example of 'female gothic', a reaction to the rise of the industrial proletariat... and much else besides.