Happy Birthday, Dear Monster!

By Brenda Clough

FRANKENSTEIN-PLAY_240Today is the anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It can be argued that the entire genre of science fiction was kicked off by this work.  Certainly it has heavily influenced a lot of us at Book View, and our Shadow Conspiracy anthologies can surely be laid at Shelley’s feet.

Nor has the work quit inspiring new creativity.  The photo here is from the heartstopping and thunderous drama that was staged at the Royal National Theatre in London in 2011, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating in the roles of the Monster and his creator Victor Frankenstein. Tickets sold out in an eyeblink and I didn’t get to see it on stage, but both versions of the production were filmed and can be viewed.  Not to be missed!

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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Happy Birthday, Dear Monster! — 2 Comments

  1. To forestall the completist, I’ll point out that it actually came out in January of 1818, a whopping 500 copies. As Shelley had done the ground work (since a lady couldn’t) he got a portion of the proceeds, and Mary got a third. Godwin oversaw it–it was dedicated to him, and his philosophy shows up all over the book–and issued a slightly corrected version a few years later, from which the play version was taken in 1820 or so, as I recall. (I do remember reading in Mary’s letters that she was delighted about the play version, which had a short run.)

    I think Godwin issued another corrected edition in 1823, both editions being corrected by him. Mary was still in Italy, coping with Shelley, Claire, children, and all her projects.