A Guide to Reading and Reflecting
by Mary Shelley; Karen Swallow Prior
This is the second title that I have read in this series, following on Jane Eyre. This edition includes the full, first edition of Frankenstein. (One thing that you will learn is that there were both an original and later Frankenstein). There is a lot of information in the sections that are included along with the full text of the novel.
Readers learn that Mary Shelley had a somewhat chaotic life and one that was filled with loss. Her bereavements included her mother’s death, deaths of her children and the death of her husband. In addition, readers learn about the free wheeling existence of Mary, Percy and those around them. There were many affairs and interconnections.
This edition also includes a good deal of insight into the novel itself. Those who have never read the book may be surprised to learn that Frankenstein was not the monster. They may also be surprised by who narrates the story. Some of the influences on Shelly in terms of death and its links with creation and birth are explored as are many others as well. In addition context about the Romantics and other influences of Shelley’s era and discussion questions..
This book is published by a religious publisher so there is a section on reading the book from that perspective. Overall, I feel that this edition will be welcomed by readers looking for some insight into Frankenstein before they read or reread it. There are even some questions for discussion included after each of the novel’s volumes.