Mary Shelley Archive

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Prescient Apocalyptic Novel

Deeply depressed and living in a Europe ravaged by war, famine, and cholera, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was inspired to write an eerily prescient novel chronicling the end of the world that manages somehow to be both bleak and hopeful. In the face of seemingly insurmountable tragedy, perhaps that is

Monstrous Masculinity: Frankenstein at Two Hundred

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When I first read Frankenstein, I knew that Mary Shelley was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, the blazing eighteenth-century feminist, so I was expecting a text reflecting that parentage. But her women characters were . . . well, dead. Her book was all about men.

The Evolution of Artificial Life in Science Fiction

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Robots work in warehouses, explore Mars, assist police, clean floors, and serve as companions for kids and adults alike. But before Furbies there was Frankenstein, before Roombas there was R.U.R., and before androids we had Asimov.

Literary Blueprints: The Monster

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Despite the simple title, the Monster is perhaps one of the most complicated, shifting characters in literature, past and present. Much of defining the Monster means defining ourselves and our views of the world. No other character relies so much on perspective to explain who (or what) the evil