Mary Shelley, draft of Frankenstein

Mary Shelley (with P.B. Shelley)



Shown here is Mary Shelley’s (1797-1851) working draft of the turning-point in Frankenstein – the moment when Frankenstein’s Creature comes to life. Her draft manuscript of Frankenstein is accompanied throughout by P. B. Shelley’s corrections, revisions and additions. Two changes can be seen on this page: nine lines from the bottom he has substituted ‘beautiful’ for ‘handsome’; three lines below that he has added the words ‘of a lustrous black &’ to Mary’s description of the Creature’s hair.

Excerpt from Mary Shelley's draft of Frankenstein, read by Christopher Adams

An introduction to Mary Shelley's hand-written draft of Frankenstein by Stephen Hebron, Curator of Treasures of the Bodleian.


What makes this a treasure?

Literary manuscripts are always a treasure because they are unique. They show us how a novel was written, the creative process if you like, and the immediacy, the intensity, of that particular moment. Frankenstein has so much evocative about it because it takes you back to that moment in Switzerland when Mary Shelley goes out, buys a notebook and begins her first novel.

Posted by Stephen Hebron

On 05/09/2011

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