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English Literature   >   Shelley: Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

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Shelley: Frankenstein

In this course, Professor Nick Groom (University of Exeter) explores Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. We begin by thinking about the life of Mary Shelley herself, focusing in particular on her fateful trip to the Villa Diodati with Percy Shelley in the summer of 1816, as well as the key differences between the 1818 first edition of the novel and the 1831 second edition. In the second module we think about the genre of the novel – to what extent is this a traditional gothic horror? – before moving on in the third module to consider the novel’s structure as a patchwork of different tales, accounts, and autobiographies, all contained within a series of letters. In the fourth module, we focus on the creature himself – or should we call him a monster? or something else? Finally, in the fifth module, we turn to the figure of Victor Frankenstein. To what extent do with sympathise with Frankenstein? Does he deserve what the creature does to him?

Mary Shelley

In this module we think about the life of Mary Shelley, focusing in particular on her illustrious parents, her relationship with the poet Percy Shelley, and her visit to Switzerland in the summer of 1816, where she first conceived of Frankenstein. We also consider some of the key differences between the first edition of the novel, published in 1818 and the (much more widely-read) second edition, published thirteen years later in 1831.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Groom, N. (2018, August 15). Shelley: Frankenstein - Mary Shelley [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Groom, N. "Shelley: Frankenstein – Mary Shelley." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. Nick Groom

Prof. Nick Groom

Exeter University