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Subjects
Published
Cambridge, Mass : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2012.
Language
English
Physical Description
387 S : Ill
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780674055520
0674055527
Main Author
Mary Wollstonecraft 1797 - 1851. Shelley (-)
Other Authors
Susan J. Wolfson (-)
Review by Choice Reviews

The large format and lurid jacket suggest this book is for the coffee table rather than for academic use. But this is a serious work of interpretation. Wolfson (Princeton) and Levao (Rutgers) offer the most extensively annotated edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in print, a book that serves the educated but nonspecialist reader. Their introduction provides the biographical and historical background of the novel's production and touches on most major schools of interpretation. The text itself is that of the 1818 edition, with Shelley's 1831 Introduction and selected variants from the 1831 edition in an appendix. The large pages are generous with white space; the main text appears in a column printed in black ink, and the editors' annotations appear in another column in brown ink. Dozens of illustrations, ranging from small black-and-white drawings to full-page color reproductions, not only enrich the contexts (with portraits, maps, scientific drawings, and so on) but chronicle Frankenstein iconography from the 1831 frontispiece through the latest Hollywood movies. Undergraduates will benefit most from the contextual and interpretive annotations, but more advanced readers will appreciate Wolfson's and Levao's thorough exploration of the text and its contexts. Summing Up: Essential. All readers; all levels. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates; Graduate Students; Researchers/Faculty. J. T. Lynch Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark Copyright 2012 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Annotated editions of literary works are deservedly popular with readers of literature, whether or not those readers are enrolled students. This new edition of Shelley's nearly 200-year-old novel is replete with supplements—explanatory notes, scholarly introductions, and other special features—that enhance the text itself. Wolfson (English, Princeton Univ.) and Levao (English, Rutgers Univ.) provide useful information on the author's milieu, including details about her parents, friends, and husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, focusing on the latter's contributions to the novel's birth and development. The edition uses the original 1818 text, and the updated scholarship, time line, and color illustrations make it preferable to The Essential Frankenstein, edited by Leonard Wolf, which is now out of print. VERDICT The large format of Harvard's annotated editions of novels from the canon, with notes alongside the text rather than in the back, together with the copious illustrations, result in handsome volumes that make up in research value what they lose in portability. Recommended for public and academic libraries, as well as any reader who has never read the novel or wants to reread it, this time with the enriched extras of an annotated edition.—Morris Hounion, NYC Technical Coll. Lib., CUNY, Brooklyn [Page 85]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Wolfson and Levao, professors of English at Princeton and Rutgers, respectively, revivify the original 1818 version of Shelley's classic in this illuminating annotated text. Beginning with a thoroughly researched introduction to the author's life and the "life" of Frankenstein, Wolfson and Levao draw parallels between the novel's themes and the losses and turmoil that plagued Shelley. Moving along, their commentary draws from an abundance of criticism, focusing primarily on the novel's allusions to Paradise Lost, Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and the myth of Prometheus. At a more local level, the duo dutifully notate Shelley's ingenious use of language and her husband's edits. All this, plus historical and literary contextualization, revised passages from the 1831 edition, and reproductions of relevant artworks and movie stills make this version of the canonical classic an impressive addition to the study of Frankenstein. While ideal for students of English, this book is accessible enough for anyone desiring a deeper reading of the novel, and does just what a well-annotated work should do, shedding a bright light not only on the text in question, but also on its historical moment and literary forebears. 98 color illus. (Oct. 31) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Wolfson and Levao, professors of English at Princeton and Rutgers, respectively, revivify the original 1818 version of Shelley's classic in this illuminating annotated text. Beginning with a thoroughly researched introduction to the author's life and the "life" of Frankenstein, Wolfson and Levao draw parallels between the novel's themes and the losses and turmoil that plagued Shelley. Moving along, their commentary draws from an abundance of criticism, focusing primarily on the novel's allusions to Paradise Lost, Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and the myth of Prometheus. At a more local level, the duo dutifully notate Shelley's ingenious use of language and her husband's edits. All this, plus historical and literary contextualization, revised passages from the 1831 edition, and reproductions of relevant artworks and movie stills make this version of the canonical classic an impressive addition to the study of Frankenstein. While ideal for students of English, this book is accessible enough for anyone desiring a deeper reading of the novel, and does just what a well-annotated work should do, shedding a bright light not only on the text in question, but also on its historical moment and literary forebears. 98 color illus. (Oct. 31) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator, in an annotated edition that offers insights into Shelley's literary and social worlds.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Honoring Shelley's 1818 classic, this volume features elegant page design and production on cream-colored stock, interesting and relevant illustrations in b&w and color, and an abundance of illuminating annotations. Wolfson (English, Princeton U.) and Levao (English, Rutgers U.) offer an extensive introductory essay, and the book concludes with an intriguing and thorough timeline that interweaves cultural references and biography, and listings for further reading and viewing (websites, stage and file versions and sequels, biographies of the author, various texts of Frankenstein, and critical issues). The volume measures 9.5x10". Belknap Press is an imprint of Harvard U. Press. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound readers for generations and has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in every medium, making the myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s novel. This freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

An annotated and illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's classic work, celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018.First published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound, disturbed, and fascinated readers for generations. One of the most haunting and enduring works ever written in English, it has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in virtually every medium, making the Frankenstein myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel. Now, this freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife with unmatched detail and vitality.From the first decade after publication, “Frankenstein” became a byword for any new, disturbing developments in science, technology, and human imagination. The editors’ Introduction explores the fable’s continuing presence in popular culture and intellectual life as well as the novel’s genesis and composition. Mary Shelley’s awareness of European politics and history, her interest in the poets and philosophical debates of the day, and especially her genius in distilling her personal traumas come alive in this engaging essay.The editors’ commentary, placed conveniently alongside the text, provides stimulating company. Their often surprising observations are drawn from a lifetime of reading and teaching the novel. A wealth of illustrations, many in color, immerses the reader in Shelley’s literary and social world, in the range of artwork inspired by her novel, as well as in Frankenstein’s provocative cinematic career. The fresh light that The Annotated Frankenstein casts on a story everyone thinks is familiar will delight readers while deepening their understanding of Mary Shelley’s novel and the Romantic era in which it was created.