Jacksonville Public Library

Making the monster, the science behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Kathryn Harkup

Making the monster, the science behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Kathryn Harkup
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-296) and index
index present
Literary Form
non fiction
Main title
Making the monster
Nature of contents
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
Kathryn Harkup
Series statement
The Bloomsbury Sigma series, book 31
Sub title
the science behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The year 1818 saw the publication of one of the most influential science-fiction stories of all time. Frankenstein: Or, Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley had a huge impact on gothic horror and science fiction genres. The name Frankenstein has become part of our everyday language, often used in derogatory terms to describe scientists who have overstepped a perceived moral line. But how did a 19-year-old woman with no formal education come up with the idea for an extraordinary novel such as Frankenstein? The period of 1790?1820 saw huge advances in our understanding of electricity and physiology. Sensational science demonstrations caught the imagination of the general public, and newspapers were full of tales of murderers and resurrectionists. It is unlikely that Frankenstein would have been successful in his attempts to create life back in 1818. However, advances in medical science mean we have overcome many of the stumbling blocks that would have thwarted his ambition. We can resuscitate people using defibrillators, save lives using blood transfusions, and prolong life through organ transplants--these procedures are nowadays considered almost routine. Many of these modern achievements are a direct result of 19th century scientists conducting their gruesome experiments on the dead. Making the Monster explores the science behind Shelley's book. From tales of reanimated zombie kittens to electrical experiments on human cadavers, Kathryn Harkup examines the science and scientists that influenced Mary Shelley and inspired her most famous creation, Victor Frankenstein. While, thankfully, we are still far from being able to recreate Victor's "creature, " scientists have tried to create the building blocks of life, and the dream of creating life-forms from scratch is now tantalizingly close
Table Of Contents
part 1. Conception. Enlightenment ; Development ; Elopement ; Nascent -- part 2. Creation. Education ; Inspiration ; Collection ; Preservation ; Construction ; Electrification ; Reanimation -- part 3. Birth. Life ; Death -- Epilogue -- Appendix: Timeline of events
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