Can you believe it? It was 200 years ago this very day in 1818 that a small-press publishing company in London, Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, unleashed a literary monsterpiece upon the world: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus!
Despite a limited first-edition print run (only 500 copies) and no author byline (saying the book was written by a woman would have been a scandal), Frankenstein took the world by storm—so much so that when a second edition was published it was finally “okay” to give Shelley the cover credit she was due. And from that point on, Victor Frankenstein, his monster, and their creator would all achieve immortality, in a way, especially Frankenstein’s Monster, who became a cultural icon still recognized by people around the world—even the ones who’ve never read the book!
So, happy anniversary, Mary Shelley and Dr. Frankenstein, and thanks for the two centuries of monsterish thrills!