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Frankenstein : a cultural history

by Hitchcock, Susan Tyler.

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills Non Fiction 823.7 Hit
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  823.7 Hit
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR5397.F73 H58 2007x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR5397.F73 H58 2007x
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 813 SHELLEY Mary
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  813 SHELLEY Mary
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 823.7 H67
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  823.7 H67
Frankenstein began as the nightmare of an unwed teenage mother in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1816. At a time when the moral universe was shifting and advances in scientific knowledge promised humans dominion over that which had been God's alone, Mary Shelley envisioned a story of human presumption and its misbegotten consequences. Two centuries later, that story is still constantly retold and reinterpreted, from Halloween cartoons to ominous allusions in the public debate, capturing and conveying meaning central to our consciousness today and our concerns for tomorrow. From Victorian musical theater to Boris Karloff with neck bolts, to invocations at the President's Council on Bioethics, the monster and his myth have inspired everyone from cultural critics to comic book addicts. This is a lively and eclectic cultural history, illuminated with dozens of pictures and illustrations, and told with skill and humor. Susan Tyler Hitchcock uses film, literature, history, science, and even punk music to help us understand the meaning of this monster made by man.
Birth and lineage
Reception and revision
The monster lives on
Making more monsters
A monster for modern times
A brave new world of monsters
The horror and the humor
Monsters in the living room
Taking the monster seriously
The monster and his myth today.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Children throughout the world draw and playact Frankenstein's monster long before they can read Mary Shelley's novel or watch the Boris Karloff movie, as Hitchcock's three-year-old daughter's collage of the character, the second illustration in this keenly entertaining book, verifies. Frankenstein is, Hitchcock argues, the most pervasive transcultural myth of the modern era. A product of literary Romanticism at its zenith, and expressing Rousseauian concepts of the mind and education that stage and film adaptations promptly jettison, the novel endures because its antagonists, monster and creator, are symbiotically attractive and repulsive, sympathetic and horrifying. Hitchcock accounts for the many stage and film incarnations of Frankenstein, of which the earliest film (1910), long lost and only recently restored, proves as interesting in her analysis as the epoch-making 1931 version. Hitchcock also covers the differences between the novel's first and second editions, book and comic-book adaptations, and the novel's steadily mounting critical reputation since the 1960s. On all these developments, she is surprisingly and gratifyingly expansive. And the illustrations are just plain terrific.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Literary historian Hitchcock (Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London) leads readers on a guided tour of Frankenstein appearances in this colorful and consistently entertaining narrative. The history begins, appropriately, with the monster's unlikely creation by Mary Shelley as a result of a ghost story challenge (also taken up by John William Polidori, whose tale of a vampyre would later inspire Bram Stoker). Hitchcock then lays bare the publishing world of the 19th century, a veritable Wild West of unauthorized stage adaptations, parodies and continuations in which Frankenstein thrived. James Whale's Karloff classic gets its due, as do the disturbing and innovative 1910 Edison Company production and the 1952 live television broadcast starring a drunk Lon Chaney Jr. Running throughout the book is the parallel story of the invocation of Frankenstein in the public discourse as a metaphor for subjects ranging from the Crimean war to genetically modified organisms. While some Frankenstein dilettantes might find the narrow focus of the book somewhat tedious, there are enough strange and delightful anecdotes to keep most readers engaged. B&w illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, -- 1797-1851. -- Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, Victor -- (Fictitious character)
Frankenstein's Monster -- (Fictitious character)
Literature and society -- History.
Scientists in literature.
Monsters in literature.
Publisher New York :W.W. Norton,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 392 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 361-374) and index.
ISBN 9780393061444 (hardcover)
0393061442 (hardcover)
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