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Frankenstein’s Frankenstein

29 Oct

Last week, eavesdropping on book club conversations, I overheard a boy admit to his group that he’d read ahead and finished the book. “It was rainy, so I stayed in my pyjamas all day and just finished it.” My heart soared.

It was another rainy weekend here, perfect for reading knitting and a lot of pyjama time. I finished Catherine Reef’s biography of Mary Shelley,  The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator Mary Shelley.  It is a long title for a slim volume.

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Publisher’s Summary: On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, comes a riveting biography of its author, Mary Shelley, whose life reads like a dark gothic novel, filled with scandal, death, drama, and one of the strangest love stories in literary history.

The story of Frankenstein’s creator is a strange, romantic, and tragic one, as deeply compelling as the novel itself. Mary ran away to Lake Geneva with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley when she was just sixteen. It was there, during a cold and wet summer, that she first imagined her story about a mad scientist who brought a corpse back to life. Success soon followed for Mary, but also great tragedy and misfortune.

Catherine Reef brings this passionate woman, brilliant writer, and forgotten feminist into crisp focus, detailing a life that was remarkable both before and after the publication of her iconic masterpiece. Includes index.

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