Making the Monster by Kathryn Harkup
The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Bloomsbury Sigma)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

A lucid and entertaining book that is neither literary criticism nor a biography with serious ambitions but mostly a series of essays on science, history, and early-19th-century British society often only distantly related to building Frankenstein’s monster.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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, and her creation has become part of our everyday culture, from cartoons to Hallowe'en costumes. Even the name 'Frankenstein' has become a by-word for evil scientists and dangerous experiments. How did a teenager with no formal education come up with the idea for an extraordinary novel such as Frankenstein?

Clues are dotted throughout Georgian science and popular culture. The years before the book's publication saw huge advances in our understanding of the natural sciences, in areas such as electricity and physiology, for example. Sensational science demonstrations caught the imagination of the general public, while the newspapers were full of lurid tales of murderers and resurrectionists.

Making the Monster explores the scientific background behind Mary Shelley's book. Is there any science fact behind the science fiction? And how might a real-life Victor Frankenstein have gone about creating his monster? From tales of volcanic eruptions, artificial life and chemical revolutions, to experimental surgery, 'monsters' and electrical experiments on human cadavers, Kathryn Harkup examines the science and scientists that influenced Shelley, and inspired her most famous creation.
 

About Kathryn Harkup

See more books from this Author
Kathryn Harkup is a chemist with extensive knowledge of poisons and a passion for Agatha Christie's mysteries. She is a freelance science communicator who delivers talks and workshops on the quirky side of science. This is her first book, and she lives in Surrey, United Kingdom.
 
Published February 8, 2018 by Bloomsbury Sigma. 304 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Making the Monster
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 31 2017

A lucid and entertaining book that is neither literary criticism nor a biography with serious ambitions but mostly a series of essays on science, history, and early-19th-century British society often only distantly related to building Frankenstein’s monster.

Read Full Review of Making the Monster: The Scien... | See more reviews from Kirkus

The Maine Edge

Good
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Feb 07 2018

“Making the Monster” is an entertaining book, one that brings together elements of history and literary criticism and science writing and biography without really being any of those things. Don’t be surprised if you’re left wanting to learn more – more about Shelley, more about “Frankenstein” … and more about the world that formed them both.

Read Full Review of Making the Monster: The Scien...

Rate this book!

Add Review
×