Review: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein (The Monsters)

Review: Mary Shelley and the curse of Frankenstein (The Monsters)

Book: Mary Shelley and the curse of Frankenstein

Author (s): Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

Pages: 323 (not including bibliography, notes, reading group guide, Q & A section and suggestions for further reading)

Rating: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED reading book


One murky night in 1816, on the shores of Lake Geneva, the celebrated English poet Lord Byron challenged his friends to a contest – to see who could write the best ghost story. The assembled group included the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley; his lover (and future wife) Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; Mary’s stepsister Claire Clairmont; and Byron’s physician, John William Polidori. The famous result was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a work that has retained its hold on the popular imagination for almost two centuries. Less well known was the curious Polidori’s’ contribution: the first vampire novel.

                The evening begat a curse, too: within a few years of Frankenstein’s publication, nearly all of those involved met untimely deaths. Drawing upon letters, rarely tapped archives, and their own magisterial rereading of Frankenstein, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have written a rip-roaring tale of obsession and creation. Continue reading →