When it came to the creation and publication of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy, was influential in more ways than one. For starters, he encouraged her to expand her short story idea into a full novel. He also unknowingly provided a great deal of material for her character Victor Frankenstein, the scientist who successfully brings his creation to life.
Similarities in Mary Shelley’s Life
There is no doubt that Mary drew from experiences regarding her husband, Percy, when she created Victor. For starters, her husband had used ‘Victor’ as a pen name, including a collection of poetry he wrote with his sister. Some believe that Percy even experimented with electricity, gunpowder, chemical reactions, and magnetism, where he filled some of his rooms with scientific equipment. Other similarities between Victor and Percy include:
Ã‚Â· Percy was the first-born son of a wealthy country squire who carried on strong political connections and was related to an Earl and other respectable members of the community. In the novel, Victor belongs to a well-known family, who has significant relatives.
Ã‚Â· Percy had a sister named Elizabeth, whereas Victor had an adopted sister, also named Elizabeth.
Ã‚Â· In a very telling comparison, Mary delivered a two-month premature baby, which died two weeks later. However, Percy did not care about the condition of the child and instead, decided to flee with Mary’s stepsister, to conduct an affair. In the novel, when Victor first sees the creature come to life, he flees his apartment, even though the ‘newborn’ approaches him in the same manner as a child does a parent.
Trivia Facts About Frankenstein , the Novel
The novel was written between 1816 and 1917 with the first three-volume edition emerging in 1818 from the manuscripts that Mary and Percy arranged. This edition, as well as the fair copy given to her publisher, now resides in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Published on August 11, 1823, the second edition of Frankenstein was released with the help of by G. and W. B. Whittaker. Consisting of two volumes, this would be the first time that Mary Shelley was given credit as being the author of her novel.
Publishers did not immediately embrace the Frankenstein novel, as it was rejected by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s publisher, Charles Ollier, as well as by Byron’s publisher John Murray.
While Mary Shelley insisted that the name “Frankenstein” came to her in the form of a dream vision, the significance of the name has always been surrounded in a bit of controversy. The name had already been in use and there may be evidence that shows Mary visited a location that bore the same name.
The novel is 280 pages long.
During its existence, the novel has been marketed as horror, romance, Gothic, and science fiction.