Frankenstein: The First 200 Years by Christopher Frayling will celebrate Mary Shelley’s classic story which, on January 1, 2018, will turn 200. Despite early criticisms that labelled the central theme of man creating life/reanimating the dead as blasphemous or too radical, Frankenstein has stuck around in a way that Shelley could not have even begun to conceive.
Frayling’s book promises new research and analysis on the novel’s origins, even including excerpts of the earliest known manuscripts of key scenes. Shelley’s novel is contextualized by a close study of scientific and cultural trends that were gripping London at the time, suspicious and unethical events in the scientific and alchemical communities, and even life events such as the resuscitation of Shelley’s mother against her will, after she attempted suicide.
It also appears that Frayling will draw connections from Frankenstein to present-day events, where science seems to have caught up to Shelley’s imagination with processes like genetic engineering and cloning. Frankenstein, then, is touted as a modern creation myth.
Frankenstein: The First 200 Years is a hardcover, coffee table-style book that boasts over 200 images on 208 pages related to Frankenstein’s monster’s long life. It is priced at $39.95 in the US, and £29.95 in the UK.
According to Reel Art Press’ site, the book will be launched on October 27. There will be a launch event at Metrograph New York that night at 6 PM, which will consist of a screening of the 1931 Frankenstein film, and a book signing by Frayling following the film.