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"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein is considered to be the greatest Gothic Romantic Novel. It is also generally thought of as the first science fiction novel. I have always been impressed and amazed by the fact that Mary wrote this novel when she was nineteen years old. What experiences and powers of imagination led to such an innovative and disturbing work?
The idea for the novel arose in the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley was staying at Lord Byron's villa in Geneva Switzerland. Not only did Mary incorporate experiences from that summer into her novel, she also utilized the sources that she had been reading and studying. Two in particular were the Metamorphoses by Ovid and Paradise Lost by Milton.
It is believed that Mary studied Ovid in April and May of 1815. The major element that Ovid supplied to the theme of Frankenstein, was his presentation of the Prometheus legend. This is acknowledged in the subtitle: Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus.…
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