Selected Texts 2018-01-18T14:56:09+00:00

Recommended Texts

In this section you will find selected print and digital editions, many of which have selected essays or scholarly bibliographies.

Digital Editions

Frankenstein. Ed. Stuart Curran. Romantic Circles Editions. Romantic Circles, May 2009.

This edition preserves both the 1818 and 1831 publications of Frankenstein. The novels can be read online as well as compared using a Juxta Commons link. The edition includes a critical  introduction and study aids (plot summary, characters, additional materials). An appendix lists more than 280 previous editions of the novel.

Frankenstein. The Shelley-Godwin Archive.

The Shelley-Godwin Archive provides access to digitized manuscripts by England’s first family of writers: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and Mary Shelley. The manuscript for Frankenstein can be read in its original manuscript versions or in its first printed three-volume text. Each page is exquisitely rendered and optimized for audience reading, zooming, and comparing. The Shelley-Godwin Archive is a great resource for those interested in exploring Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s collaborative writing process.

Frankenstein. Ed. Stuart Curran et al. University of Pennsylvania.

This electronic edition of Frankenstein presents a reading version of the novel alongside an abundance of critical notes and appendices, including character biographies for new readers; information on key themes and ideas to give context and depth to the novel; an extensive list of critical commentary on Frankenstein (over 200 entries); and a collection of key images (maps and illustrations).

Frankenstein. Ed. Rev H. R. Haweis. London, 1886.

This edition provides metadata for, and page images from, the 1886 publication of Frankenstein, held at the British Library.

Frankenstein (1818) vs. (1831). Dana Wheeles. Juxta Commons.

This edition uses the comparative text tool, Juxta Commons, to align Shelley’s 1818 Frankenstein with her 1831 Frankenstein. The tool allows for the user to manipulate the information and view the comparison in multiple formats, including side-by-side and histogram. This comparison edition is also linked from the Romantic Circles edition (ed. Stuart Curran).

Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1818). The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Online page images of the 1818 edition that can be read online in a page-turner version.

Print Editions

Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. The 1818 Text, edited by James Rieger. The University of Chicago Press, 1974.

An important 1818 edition of the text that became seminal for much discussion of Shelley’s authorship.

The Mary Shelley Reader, edited by Betty T. Bennett and Charles E. Robinson, Oxford UP, 1990.

An omnibus reader that includes the full text of the 1831 Frankenstein followed by Shelley’s novel Mathilda, seven of her short stories, eight of her essays and reviews, a short selection of letters, and a short bibliography.

Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text, edited by Marilyn Butler, Oxford UP, 1993. Reprinted as Oxford World Classics, 1998.

This 1818 edition begins with an extended introduction written by Shelley scholar and Romanticist Marilyn Butler and ends with three appendices: Shelleys’ introduction to the 1831 edition, a catalogue of Shelley’s 1831 revisions of the novel, and The Quarterly Review’s important 1819 article on radical science.

The Frankenstein Notebooks: A Facsimile Edition of Mary Shelley’s Novel, 1816-17 (Parts One and Two), edited by Charles E. Robinson, Garland Publishing, 1996.

Robinson’s landmark edition of the notebooks foregrounds what Robinson calls the “MWS and PBS’s Collaboration in The Frankenstein Notebooks.”

Frankenstein, edited by Susan J. Wolfson, 2nd ed., Pearson, 2006.

Wolfson’s edition of the 1818 Frankenstein includes a section on “Contexts,” including excerpts of texts on aesthetics, poetry, and prose Shelley would have read by Byron, Hunt, Hazlitt, Milton, Percy Shelley, Edmund Burke, and Mary Wollstonecraft. It also includes Richard Brinsley Peake’s theater adaptation of the novel, contemporaneous reviews and reactions, and quotes from mentions of the novel in today’s popular press.

The Original Frankenstein, edited by Charles Robinson, First Vintage Classics Edition, 2008.

Robinson presents two drafts of the novel: Mary’s first draft, then, separately, a version with Percy’s extensive comments and emendations. This print edition builds off of Robinson’s work on The Frankenstein Notebooks. It includes two versions of the texts, both based on the manuscripts held by the Bodleian Library: one version that collates Mary’s original with Percy’s additions, and a second version that just transcribes Mary’s writing. The appendices focus chiefly on the paratextual elements of the Frankenstein publications.

Frankenstein, edited by J. Paul Hunter, 2nd ed., Norton, 2011.

This extended rendition of the 1818 edition of the novel has sections on composition (including a piece on how to choose an edition of the novel), reviews and responses to the novel, and a large section of criticism with now-classic essays spanning topics from the novel and realism, metaphors of birth and femininity, Shelley’s understanding of radical science, the novel and film, and others.

The Annotated Frankenstein, edited by Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao, Belknap, 2012.

Wolfson and Levao present an extensively annotated edition of both the 1818 and the 1831 edition, with commentary in the page margins and with full-color pictures interspersed with the novel’s text. Appendices include a note on timelines of the novel as well as suggestions for further reading and viewing.

Frankenstein, edited by D. L. MacDonald and Kathleen Scherf, 3rd ed., Broadview Press, 2012.

The print edition preserves Shelley’s 1818 Frankenstein. It includes a detailed introduction to the author, characters, and evolution of the novel. The text is extensively annotated and is accompanied by six critical appendices that focus on the topics of education, historical reviews of the novels, and 1831 textual variants.

Frankenstein, edited by Johanna M. Smith, 3rd ed., Bedford/St. Martin, 2015.

This edition is based on the 1831 edition of the novel. It includes an introduction and documents detailing Shelley’s historical and biographical contexts, with texts by William Godwin, Johann Wolfgang van Goethe, Luigi Galvani, as well as nineteenth- and early twentieth-century adaptations of the novel. Like many of Bedford/St. Martin’s editions, this volume also includes a “case study” of criticism, including exemplary essays written through the lenses of psychoanalytic theory, feminist criticism, queer theory, marxism, postcolonial criticism, and racial discourse.

Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds, edited by David Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert, MIT Press, 2017.

The result of a NSF-funded grant, Guston, Finn, Roberts, along with a group of scholars, librarians, and high school teachers, annotated Charles E. Robinson’s 1818 edition specifically for STEM students. They have included a set of essays likewise directed toward interests in science, science fiction, and “the ethical and social dimensions of scientific inquiry” (xii-xiii).

For more editions, see also Romantic Circles’ extended bibliography of worldwide published editions of the novel