Print ISBN: 978-1-63700-732-7
# of Pages: 300
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
e-ISBN: 978-1-63700-733-4
eBook User Price: $105
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Critical Insights: Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus

Free Online Access to the Salem Press/Grey House Platform
March 2024

Amidst rapid technological advancements, moral dilemmas, and ethical questions surrounding scientific progress, Mary Shelley’s iconic 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, still resonates in contemporary society. The novel remains profoundly relevant, serving as a warning against the unchecked pursuit of knowledge and the potential dangers of manipulating the forces of nature.

It continues to captivate readers with its timeless themes and cautionary lessons about scientific ambition and the consequences of playing God. The frame-tale novel, often overshadowed by subsequent film versions, is groundbreaking in giving a voice to the monster via its epistolary embedded-narrative form.

 In today's world, where advancements like gene editing and human augmentation are becoming a reality, Shelley's novel urges us to reflect on the ethical boundaries humanity should set for itself and the potential consequences of crossing them. The novel also has compelled readers for over two centuries for its insight into the consideration of alienation and Otherness. Victor’s monster, as an outsider, brings to light the question of what is to be human as he grapples with his own isolation, a concept humans increasingly identify with in the twenty-first century. The novel also remains pertinent for its environmental concerns, as ecological critics remind readers of the responsibility humans have toward the environment. Essays in this volume will introduce readers to these topics and more.

The Critical Insights Series distills the best of both classic and current literary criticism of the world’s most studies literature. Edited and written by some of academia’s most distinguished literary scholars, Critical Insights: Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus provides authoritative, in-depth scholarship that students and researchers will rely on for years. This volume is destined to become a valuable purchase for all.

Each Critical Insights is divided into four sections:


In this introductory essay, volume editors Laura and James Nicosia discuss the important points of each chapter that follows, helping readers to quickly locate those articles most related to their specific interest in Shelley’s novel.

Critical Context

  • "The 1818 and 1831 Editions of Frankenstein: Lessons in Authorship, Bookselling, and Textual Scholarship" by Wendy C. Nielsen

  • "Authorship and Influence in the Critical Reception of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus" by Amy Leshinsky

  • "Conjuring Sympathy: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the Facilitation of Interactive Reading" by Edward Yang

  • "Can the Subaltern Reclaim the Father’s Tongue?: Shakespeare’s Caliban and Shelley's Creature" by Livia Sacchetti

Critical Readings

  • “'It’s Fronken-steen!': Re-righting Wrongs in Parodies of Frankenstein" by Amy Coles
  • "Monster Mash: Universal Pictures and Frankenstein on Film" by Gabrielle Stecher
  • "Politics of the Eye and Ear in Frankenstein" by Jinhyung Kim

  • “Hate the wretched”: Orientalism and Otherness in  Lindsay Katzir

  • “'A blot upon the earth': A Waste Studies Approach to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein" 
  • The Moon, the Mountains, Lightning, and Ice: Nature’s Characters in Frankenstein, An Ecocritical Lens" by Lisbeth Chapin
  • "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a Dystopian Classic" by Hisashi Ozawa

  • "Who (or What) Am I? Existential Dilemmas in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus and Robert Louis Stevenson’s  Tammie Jenkins

  • "Cartesian Creations: Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau in Perspective" by Sakti Sekhar Dash

  • "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake as Feminist Speculative Fictions" by Sarah Weiger

  • "The Mirror Effect: Exploring Humanity through Cadaverous Creatures and Composite Beings in Frankenstein and the Unwind Dystology" by Danielle Russell

  • “'Sew me together yourself': Hypertext and the Female Monster in Frankenstein and Patchwork Girl" by Callie Ingram

  • "Mary Shelley’s Daughters: Female Creativity and Identity in Frankenstein, Foster, and The Book of Goose" by Elissa Greenwald

  • “'I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet': The Pedagogical Value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" by Eman Halimeh

Each essay is 2,500-5,000 words in length and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.

Additional Resources:

  • Chronology of Mary Shelley’s Life

  • Works by Mary Shelley

  • Bibliography

  • About the Editor

  • Contributors

  • Index


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