Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818)

Daniel Cook (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Often regarded as the first major Science Fiction novel in English, Frankenstein is more broadly a work of metafiction. After all, the Creature learns of humanity’s evil deeds from reading Paradise Lost and The Sorrows of Young Werther, and Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory labours rely on mystical and modern scientific tracts. Originating in Switzerland, the Shelleys’ adopted home at the time, Frankenstein takes a prominent place in the upper echelons of the European canon. But the novel also draws on the author’s formative years in Scotland, specifically a major industrial riverside town, Dundee. Inspired by the eerie Tay and its environs, in which she roved as a teenager, as well as numerous places in Britain and abroad, Shelley depicted in her fiction a variety of disparate landscapes, from enlightened Fife to barren Orkney to the perilous Arctic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the British Novel in the Long Eighteenth Century
EditorsKatrin Berndt, Alessa Johns
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783110650440
ISBN (Print)9783110649765
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameHandbooks of English and American Studies


  • Mary Shelley
  • Frankenstein
  • science fiction
  • reading
  • Scotland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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