Emma Maggart


In 1818, Mary Shelley created the story of Frankenstein. The name that is so familiar to the world today began as an expression of Shelley’s thoughts and her response to the developing world around her. This novel speaks boldly of human right to intellect, appropriate experimental creation, and social acceptance. Two hundred years after its publication Shelley’s novel is still popular, which can be credited to her progressive illumination of these three issues. Shelly wrote in an era of great social and scientific change; this novel addresses both topics deeply, which is likely the reason for Frankenstein’s long-lived popularity. This study examines the original text and draws support from two theatrical adaptations, one by Richard B. Peake from 1823, and one by Henry Milner from 1826.1 This close comparison provides context to trace the evolution of Frankenstein over the century while making connections to the evolution of scientific thought over this period.