The conception of Frankenstein
In 1816 at the age of just 18, Mary Shelley envisaged a story which she hoped would strike fear in its readers and make them “dread to look round”. Inspired by an impromptu ghost-story competition one stormy night, whilst on holiday with her friends Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Claire Clairmont and John Polidori, Shelley unknowingly created one of the greatest achievements in horror-writing history, Frankenstein.
Now, on the bicentennial of its publication, SP books commemorate Shelley’s work with a collectable manuscript published from the original handwritten notebooks.
Mary Shelley's notebooks
Throughout the pages the young author’s creative process is unravelled and an intimate dialogue surfaces between Mary and her lover, Percy Shelley. Percy’s handwritten annotations, corrections and playful remarks offer a personal insight into the couple’s lives; we see him address Mary as “you pretty pecksie!” and Mary respond to Percy as ‘Elf’.
As the novel and its characters are changed and revised, the famous monster takes form and becomes infinitely more human. Initially referred to as a ‘creature’ the monster becomes a ‘being’ and develops human emotion, notably, its ‘fangs’ that Victor imagines in his feverish state, ‘already grasping [his] neck, are replaced by the word ‘fingers’.
Each manuscript is beautifully presented in a 10x14” iron gilded slipcase. The pages are printed to the highest quality using vegetal ink on environmentally friendly paper.
“[A story] to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”
~ Mary Shelley’s introduction to Frankenstein, 1831 edition
1,000 numbered copies
This first print-run, navy blue, is hand numbered from 1 to 1,000.
A facsimile of Mary Shelley’s manuscript of “Frankenstein,” written when she was just 18, will be published in March by SP Books here to mark the bicentennial of the novel’s publication in 1818. The draft version, written in two large notebooks, is full of annotations by both Mary Shelley and her future husband, Percy Shelley, showing his corrections to her spelling (“enigmatic o you pretty Pecksie!” he wrote next to her “igmmatic”) and suggested changes to vocabulary. (...)
What’s really moving about this manuscript is that you can see the literary work mixed with something tender and emotional – literature and love inside the pages of the manuscript. Their two handwritings are very similar, which is bizarre and sweet at the same time.” (...)
To commemorate the bicentennial of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, SP Books in Paris has published a limited edition, luxury facsimile of the original manuscript. For Shelley collectors, that manuscript contains some interesting insights into the development of Shelley's story (...)
There is understandably a burst of activity surrounding the book’s 200th anniversary. The original, 1818 edition has been reissued, as paperback by Penguin Classics. There’s a beautifully illustrated hardcover, “The New Annotated Frankenstein” (Liveright) and a spectacular limited edition luxury facsimile by SP Books of the original manuscript in Shelley's own handwriting based on her notebooks. (...)
To mark the bicentennial of the publication of Mary Shelley's classic novel "Frankenstein," an independent publishing house is releasing a manuscript that comes from Shelley's original handwritten notebooks. (...)
In honor of the two hundredth anniversary of its publication, SP Books has put together a facsimile of Shelley’s original manuscript. The pages are in Shelley’s own handwriting, and each is riddled with corrections, annotations, and messages for her husband, who also served as her reader. (...)
La plume de Mary Shelley ne tremble pas, l’écriture penchée à droite, indique une romancière déterminée. Elle veut finir son histoire, et même épater la bonne petite société! La calligraphie montre cette excitation à gagner leur fameux concours plus que les nuits glacées par la tempête (...)
If you consider yourself to be a book-lover, then you probably already know the story behind author Mary Shelley's most famous novel: according to legend, the Modern Prometheus was an idea born out of a friendly ghost story writing challenge put forth by Lord Byron during a group vacation at Lake Geneva. Now, you can actually see the genesis of the classic character yourself, because a limited run of Frankenstein's original manuscript is being released this March, and it reveals a lot about the creation of Shelley's iconic monster. (...)
The notebooks also reveal the evolution of Shelley’s famous monster as the author changed and revised her story and characters: Initially referred to as a “creature,” the monster later becomes known as a “being” with human emotion. (...)
Shelley’s manuscripts give a glimpse into the author’s creative process as well as personal insight into the playful relationship between Mary and her husband, fellow author Percy Shelley who wrote notes back and forth to one another in the story annotations and edits. (...)