Mary Shelley conceived of her Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein on a visit to Switzerland in 1816. The country gave her a setting, and her companions, husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and their friend Lord Byron, sparked her imagination with philosophical discussions about the reanimation of the dead. When poor weather kept them housebound, they devised a story-writing contest -- and Mary set out to create a tale "to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart." The story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who oversteps the bounds of conscience, and the monster he creates, was a bestseller in its day -- and remains one of the most spellbinding novels of all time.
Washington Square Press' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Frankenstein was prepared by Anne K. Mellor, professor of English and women's studies at the University of California in Los Angeles. It includes an introduction, a selection of critical excerpts, suggestions for further reading, and a unique visual essay of drawings and photographs.