Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published by a small publishing co on March 11, 1818. First reviews were poor:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published by a small publishing co on March 11, 1818. First reviews were poor:


While staying in neighboring houses on the shores of Lake Geneva, Frankenstein was born in the Villa Diodati. It came out of an evening that 18-year-old Mary Shelley spent with her lover (and later husband) Percy Shelley, their neighbor there Lord Byron and and his doctor John Polidori. The quartet started discussing ghosts and the supernatural fuelled perhaps by laudanum. Byron suggested they write their own ghost stories.  After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Mary Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by the result. She then wrote Frankenstein.

Portrait of Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley recalled: “I busied myself to think of a story which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror.”

With Percy Shelley’s encouragement, Mary expanded this tale into a full-fledged novel writing it at their Albion House home on West Street in Marlow.

Draft of Frankenstein (“It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld my man completed …”)

Percy Shelley helped Mary with Frankenstein, tidying up the spelling and syntax.

Frankenstein was first published on March 11, 1818 by the small London publishing house Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones. Initial reviews weren’t particularly kind with one describing it as “a tissue of horrible and disgusting absurdity.”


Mary and Percy were both ethical vegetarians and strong advocates for animals. One can see references to vegetarianism in her writing. For example, in Frankenstein, the monster was a vegetarian.

The Monster in Frankenstein has no name, but Mary Shelley once referred to him as “Adam.”

Frankenstein was actually the creator of the creature – Victor Frankenstein. However since publication of the novel, the name “Frankenstein” has often used to refer to the monster itself.

A 16-minute film of Frankenstein was made in 1910 at Edison Studios in New York.

In the famous 1931 film of Frankenstein, his first name is Henry. In the novel, he was Victor.

TPau’s UK #1 hit “China In Your Heart” was inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel, specifically, a line about Frankenstein’s dreams crumbling: “Don’t push too hard, your dreams are china in your hand.”


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