Book ID: CBB423366579

Monstrous Progeny: A History of the Frankenstein Narratives (2016)


Friedman, Lester D. (Editor)
Kavey, Allison B. (Editor)

Rutgers University Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 256
Language: English

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein is its own type of monster mythos that will not die, a corpus whose parts keep getting harvested to animate new artistic creations. What makes this tale so adaptable and so resilient that, nearly 200 years later, it remains vitally relevant in a culture radically different from the one that spawned its birth? Monstrous Progeny takes readers on a fascinating exploration of the Frankenstein family tree, tracing the literary and intellectual roots of Shelley’s novel from the sixteenth century and analyzing the evolution of the book’s figures and themes into modern productions that range from children’s cartoons to pornography. Along the way, media scholar Lester D. Friedman and historian Allison B. Kavey examine the adaptation and evolution of Victor Frankenstein and his monster across different genres and in different eras. In doing so, they demonstrate how Shelley’s tale and its characters continue to provide crucial reference points for current debates about bioethics, artificial intelligence, cyborg lifeforms, and the limits of scientific progress.  Blending an extensive historical overview with a detailed analysis of key texts, the authors reveal how the Frankenstein legacy arose from a series of fluid intellectual contexts and continues to pulsate through an extraordinary body of media products. Both thought-provoking and entertaining, Monstrous Progeny offers a lively look at an undying and significant cultural phenomenon.

Reviewed By

Review Jon Turney (2018) Review of "Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (pp. 41-43). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Rabinowitz, Paula
Mowitt, John
Pepper, Thomas
Hitchcock, Susan Tyler
Bould, Mark
Laan, J. M. van der
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Public Understanding of Science
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
W. W. Norton & Co.
Petra Books
Cornell University
University of Minnesota
Science and literature
Science fiction
Popular culture
Science and culture
Teratology; monsters
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Wells, Herbert George
Gray, Alasdair
Darwin, Erasmus
Mori, Masahiro
Jentsch, Ernst Anton
United States
Great Britain
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
20th century, early

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