Confession time -
I have never read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
There. I said it.
I know it is a classic and classics are my jam.
I know it is considered one of the first science fiction novels and I love reading (or watching) good science fiction.
I know it is loved by millions.
And I know that it has spent time on banned books lists.
It seems right up my alley, so what's my glitch?
It's the horror aspect that stops me cold in my tracks. Like I shared here, horror just is not my thing. I simply don't like to be scared.
Since Frankenstein, which is technically classified as Horror, is actually a gentler type of tale I'd classify as a ghoulishly good classic, I decided to test the waters of the genre this week to see if Shelley's creepy classic might be my jam after all.
And do you know what? I can now say -
I have read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. And I loved it!
It turns out that Frankenstein was my jam all along! (I reviewed Frankenstein this week on social, so if you're interested in reading what I thought - as well as a lot of other Pretty Literate people - you can read our thoughts on the classic here on Facebook or here on Instagram.)
And in reading that seasonal classic this week, I prepared myself to participate for the first time ever in Frankenstein Friday!
What is Frankenstein Friday?
The last Friday in October has become known in literary circles as "Frankenstein Friday," a fun way to keep the spirit of Mary Shelley's monster alive in the days leading up Halloween, not to be confused with National Frankenstein Day which is celebrated annually on the author's birthday (August 30).
About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the only child of her parents, her mother having died just days after she gave birth to the author. Mary Shelley's father, who was a philosophical atheist, remarried after her mother died and his new wife brought her own children into the family before giving birth to another as a result of the union. Consequently, Mary did not grow up an only child, but among five siblings of various parentages.
Mary seemingly did not get along with her new stepmother and was eventually sent to live in Scotland for two years, a time during which her literary imagination grew. It was during this time (via a brief visit home) that Mary first met poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (along with his wife). Later, at the age of 16 upon returning home to England, Mary decided to elope in Italy with the still-married Shelley (which negated the legality of their union). Shelley's wife later died and Percy and Mary married again (1816), this time legally. They encouraged one another's writings during their marriage and had several children during their union, though only one survived into adulthood. Percy Shelley perished in a boating accident in 1822, just 6 years after the couple tied the knot.
After her husband's death, Mary returned to England and wrote novels, biographies, and travel literature out of a practical need to support their one child, who (at age 7) inherited his grandfather's baronetcy as the sole surviving male Shelley. She lived to see her son grown and married.
Mary Shelley died in 1851 from a brain tumor. She was 53 years old.
A Few Ways to Celebrate Frankenstein Friday
• Read Shelley's famous novel. It is a quick, engaging, surprising read. You can read Frankenstein FREE online here.
• Listen to the Audiobook on Libby via your local library.
• Binge watch a few Frankenstein films (yes, there are sequels!) curled up on the couch with your favorite friends. Serve one of these Frankentreats during your Watch Party.
• Print and hang this Frankenstein banner in your workspace.
• Share one of these fantastic Frankenstein quotables to your social media using the hashtag #FrankensteinFriday. (Tag @PrettyLiterate so we can share the fun, too!)
If you're itching to read another creepy classic, check out one of Pretty Literate's last few ghoulishly good book boxes here.
Better yet, join us in the Monthly Book Club and enjoy great seasonal reads all through the year!