Revising Frankenstein

Click through for Kinney’s essay. This image, which she uses to illustrate the essay, is drawn from the manuscripts housed on the site.

Writer Alison Kinney, in her essay “A FILTHY PROCESS IN WHICH I WAS ENGAGED”: REVISING FRANKENSTEIN“A FILTHY PROCESS IN WHICH I WAS ENGAGED”: REVISING FRANKENSTEIN, considers both the changes Mary Shelley made in revising her novel and the reasons she may have downplayed the those revisions. Not only does the essay offer insights into the context in which Shelley wrote, it’s also, I think, inspiring to anyone who’s ever struggled through the writing process.

If you’re interested in reading more about the changes Mary Shelley made from the 1811 to the 1831 edition of the novel, see this excerpt from Anne Mellor’s book, Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters.

1 comment

  1. Professor,

    If I remember reading the introduction correctly, there was a line that had mentioned how some skeptics who questioned whether “Frankenstein” is truly Mary’s creative imagination. Their argument is that because of her youth, she could not have produced such magnificent contribution to literature – and that “Frankenstein” is actually the idea of her husband, Percy Shelley. Of course, if I remember another short line correctly (biographies like to throw short lines to test your memory, or this is just my perception), the skeptics were in line with Lord Bryon, a well-known opponent of having female exercising their right to education. My point is, and I’m assuming here, is that Mary made many significant changes to her novel to make a statement that this is “her work!”

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