Frankenstein, who was he? What was he? He started out as the creation of English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, but he has become so much more. He is a superstar icon and has maintained a place as the very definition of scary for nearly 200 years. He made his debut in 1818. The novel was published anonymously by a small London publishing house and was titled, The Modern Prometheus. The second edition of the book included Mary’s name in 1827.
How did the story come about? Mary, Percy Shelly (Mary’s Husband), Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the novel’s story.
Since the novel’s publication, the name “Frankenstein” has often been overused to refer to the monster itself. However, in the novel he is known as, the creature, the monster, the demon or just plain it. What did the monster think of himself? When he spoke to Victor Frankenstein he calls himself “the Adam of your labors, but is instead is your fallen angel.”
How was he created? Was the monster a collection body parts grafted together from cadavers and reanimated by the use of electricity? Not in Shelly’s novel, the doctor spends two years painstakingly constructing the creature one body feature at a time. He obtains these parts by dissection and the slaughter-house. He then brings monster to life using his unspecified process.
The movies are what changed everything. They took elements of the story and presented us with the modern day Frankenstein. “He is Alive!” became the battle cry and since that famous decree in 1931 by Collin Clive the visage of Boris Karloff has become the subject of our nightmares.
This Week’s Podcast:
Coming up this Thursday on the podcast we have the ninth episode of the Horror Express. Jason and I take you into the world of ghost stories, answer your emails and have a old time radio treat called, Frankenstein. You won’t want to miss it!
You can listen to this podcast this Thursday (10/08) at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.
October 01: The classic retelling of, “The Thing on the Fourble Board”
October 08: The Mysterious Travels Episode
October 15: The Horror Express #9
October 22: Ghost Stories with Sylvia Shults
October 29: Old Time Horror with Jim Harold