Mary Shelley first published Frankenstein anonymously on New Year’s Day in 1818. Only 500 copies were printed in the first run, but two centuries later the tale remains an enduring cultural phenomenon. Frankenstein, The First 200 Years is an exhaustive investigation of the origins of the story and the myriad interpretations from gothic theatre to racy slapstick films.
Across 208 pages, author Christopher Frayling follows the tale from the 19th Century to the present day, and alongside in-depth writing, the book contains visual essays documenting the way that Frankenstein has appeared throughout the years. Inside you can find examples of the film and stage versions of the story, the books and comics that it inspired and a facsimile of the original manuscript for the ‘creation scene’.
Frankenstein was cited as “perhaps the foulest toadstool that has yet sprung up form the reeking dunghill of the present time,” by one critic when it was first released, but despite its critics went on to inspire over 90 film adaptations between 1931 and 2016. Frayling’s book charts the aesthetic evolution of Frankenstein’s monster and it’s cultural significance to the present day. “The real creation myth of modern times – the era of genetic engineering, three-parent babies, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics and singularity, human/animal interfaces and secularism– is no longer Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,” says the publisher RAP. “The creation myth is Frankenstein.”
- Alice Zoo documents the real day-to-day lives of performers in a travelling circus
- Jenny Schweitzer's latest short is an uplifting account of life in an American retirement home
- Next 2 Nothing is the how-to manual of tips and tricks for any aspiring filmmaker
- Haleigh Mun on finding her own illustrative style rather than trying to be a “cool artist”
- Genuine collaborations inform Swiss design studio Omnigroup's broad practice
- Filmmaker Duncan Cowles on how your own tone of voice can create the best audience reaction
- An egg beats Kylie Jenner to become the most liked Instagram photo... ever
- Mastercard reveals new nameless logo courtesy of Michael Bierut
- Sam Youkilis uses scale, form and colour to challenge the tropes of travel photography
- Betina Du Toit's naturally-beautiful images are “stripped back from the non-essential”
- Giacomo Gambineri on shifting his creative career from graphic designer to illustrator
- Hiroki Nishiyama draws on traditional graphic design techniques in his illustration practice