Section Three: Writing and Editing Frankenstein
Like the Creature himself, Frankenstein the novel is the sum total of many different influences and parts. Mary Shelley was inspired by the literature, politics, art, and scientific developments of her era. Shelley’s own life figures into the novel as well. The author arguably drew from her experience growing up without a mother, her complicated relationship with her father, and her travels abroad, the last of which informed Frankenstein’s landscape. Her eclectic education became her Creature’s reading list, including works by diverse authors such as Plutarch and John Milton. P. B. Shelley was Mary Shelley’s first reader, and his suggestions became an important part of her editing process.
Explore these concepts and more in our interactive PDF on Section Three.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851), Frankenstein: Creature begins his history, account of his education, 1816-1817, Pen on paper, The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, MS Abinger c. 57, fols. 1v, 2r.