Classics of Horror: Dracula & Frankenstein

Classics of Horror: Dracula & Frankenstein

ISBN: 0681411635

ISBN 13: 9780681411630

Publication Date: September 01, 1993

Publisher: Longmeadow Press

Format: Hardcover

Authors: Bram Stoker, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

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DRACULA is an 1897 epistolary novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. It was 1st published as a hardcover in 1897 by Archibald Constable & Co. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel & invasion literature. Structurally it's an epistolary novel, told as a series of letters, diary entries, ships' logs, etc. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional & conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, folklore & postcolonialism. Altho Stoker didn't invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical, film & tv interpretations since its publication.
FRANKENSTEIN or The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed artificial life experiment that's produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley. She started writing the story when she was 18. It was published when she was 21. The 1st edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the 2nd edition, published in France in 1823. She'd travelled the region in which the story takes place. The topics of galvanism & other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. The storyline was taken from a dream. She was talking with three writer-colleagues, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron & John Polidori. They decided they would have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her storyline could be, she dreamt about a scientist who created life & was horrified by what he'd made. Then Frankenstein was written. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel & the Romantic movement & is also considered to be an early example of sf. Brian Aldiss has argued it should be considered the 1st true sf story, because unlike in previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later sf, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" & "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. The story is partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead & living animals & was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in its subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. It's had a considerable influence across literature & popular culture & spawned a complete genre of horror stories & films.

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