Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Did Percy Shelley Un-Egalitarianize Frankenstein?

According to a new edition of the book, which breaks down Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's original Manuscript of Frankenstein and separates out the talented but troublesome Percy's corrections and edits, her original draft is actually much more accessible. Via Jacket Copy:

The results are fascinating. We read a more rapidly paced novel that is arranged in different chapters. Above all, we hear Mary’s genuine voice which sounds to us more modern, more immediately colloquial than her husband’s learned, more polished style.
Think of all the eighth graders in the anglophone world, forced to read Frankenstein by their school's curricula, who might wish that Percy had minded his goddamn business when editing his wife's draft!

(No disrespect to Percy, yo. Did you know he advocated Irish independence and distributed pamphlets on birth control in his day? The man was way ahead of his time, he just wrote more floridly than Mary).


  1. I had a hot poetry professor in college who would read Percy's works aloud in class. Made it all the more interesting.

    But I didn't know that about Frankenstein. Interesting!

  2. Mmm, like your professor, Percy was totally a stud--he just gets overshadowed by Byron in that regard.

    unfortunately for Mary, his belief in modern, open marriages, was a bit more rabid than hers :)