Steampunk: Frankenstein | Chapter 4 of 37

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1212149 Views | Add a Review

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You may have selected this book because it is on a “required” reading list. Or, perhaps, you are a fan of steampunk, or Frankenstein, and are wondering what is so special about the marriage between the sub-genre and classic work. But before we delve into the concept behind Steampunk: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, please note that Shelley’s text you are about to read remains authentic, to the third edition published by Colburn and Bentley (London) in 1831. If you should be so curious, the first edition of Frankenstein (also known as The Modern Prometheus) was published on January 1, 1818. The advantage of republishing the third edition, and not the first, is the inclusion of the author’s personal introduction, which, in addition to this introduction, will assist in contextualizing the time in which Shelley wrote her story.
To study any period or genre of art and writing is to study those that came before them. None are born in isolation from outside influences; they react against and grow out of each other. To reference what Shelley wrote in her author’s note, “Every thing must have a beginning . . . and that beginning must be linked to something that went before.” Steampunk, as fans surely know, is a sub-genre of science fiction that came widely into being in the late 1980s (when the term was coined) and into the 1990s; its influences are from the Victorian era (1837–1901) and the brink of the Industrial Revolution (1760–1850).
Steampunk also shares links to “Edisonades,” which were inventor hero-centric stories popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. As it sounds, this sub-genre name spawned from the historically notable inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931). Edisonades sounds very “science fiction,” doesn’t it? Modern-day views would classify it as such, but during that historic time the science fiction genre did not exist.
Arguably, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was the mother of what we now classify as science fiction. Before scientists and inventors were made heroes in Edisonades, Shelley created a Gothic tale that featured them, but as anti-heroes. In her author’s introduction she illustrates in words her inspiration for writing this piece of literature that has transcended time. The illustrations for this edition, by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac, are a union between the Gothic and Victorian styles. Although Frankenstein did not take place during Victorian times, consider the art a hat-tip from a steampunk child to its mother of invention. And let this book be evidence that when a writer and artist are challenged to create something extraordinary from fiction, the imagination’s capacity to invent is limitless.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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