Charles E. Robinson: Introduction to The Frankenstein Notebooks (Garland, 1996)

The following introduction is excerpted from Charles E. Robinson's The Frankenstein Notebooks: A Facsimile Edition: Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics, Volume IX. Parts A and B. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996. A row of asterisks denotes abridgements. Apart from the abridgements, the text is presented verbatim and refers to shelf mark numbers for the notebooks that were later changed when the Bodleian purchased the Abinger collection in 2004.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797–1851) was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on 30 August 1797 in London; she was the daughter of two famous writers, William Godwin (1756–1836) and Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), who died eleven days after her daughter Mary was born; she eloped with the married twenty-one-year-old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) in July 1814, when she was sixteen (they were accompanied by Mary Shelley's slightly younger step-sister Claire Clairmont [1798–1879]1 on a six-weeks' tour of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland); she gave birth to a premature daughter in February 1815 (who died twelve days later) and a son in January 1816. Less than four months later, the unmarried Mary Godwin together with Percy Bysshe Shelley, their three-months-old son William, and Claire Clairmont (unmarried but pregnant with the child of Lord Byron [1788–1824], who had recently separated from his wife) journeyed to Geneva, Switzerland, where they joined Byron and his doctor John William Polidori (1795–1821) for that famous summer of 1816, a summer that has since been celebrated by these writers' own recollections, by biographies, by fiction, and by film.

Among the many works conceived and/or written during that wet and stormy summer2 were Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto the Third, his drama Manfred, and his Vampire “Fragment”; Percy Bysshe Shelley's poems “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” and “Mont Blanc”; Polidori's tale The Vampyre and his novel Ernestus Berchtold; or, The Modern Oedipus (both published in 1819); and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She began that novel as Mary Godwin in June 1816 when she was eighteen years old, she finished it as Mary Shelley in April/May 1817 when she was nineteen (she had married Percy Bysshe Shelley on 30 December 1816 after his first wife committed suicide), and she published it anonymously on 1 January 1818 when she was twenty. Now, exactly 180 years after she began writing Frankenstein, the publication of The Frankenstein Notebooks will provide a unique opportunity to study the creative process that went into the making of Mary Shelley's monster.

Many of those who have previously studied Frankenstein will know that there are a number of “texts” of the novel, each with significant textual flaws: the three-volume 1818 first edition,3 with its printing errors; the “Thomas” copy of 1818, with Mary Shelley's own holograph corrections and additions; the two-volume 1823 second edition (which used 1818 as setting copy), with at least 120 variant words occasioned by William Godwin, who had arranged publication of this edition while Mary Shelley (widowed since Percy's death on 8 July 1822) was still in Italy; and the one-volume 1831 revised edition (which used 1823 as setting copy), with its many changes that Mary Shelley herself introduced into the text. I say Mary Shelley herself and will from this point denominate her as MWS (as she herself did) thereby providing a shorthand to distinguish MWS from her husband PBS, who also had a considerable “hand” in the earlier 1818 text.

This edition of The Frankenstein Notebooks will introduce yet more “texts” of the novel, not all of which are extant: the now lost original 1816 ur-text or “story” that MWS wrote in the summer of 1816; the two-volume 1816–17 “book” or manuscript Draft that MWS wrote for approximately nine months from c. August 1816 through 17 April 1817, during which time PBS made and suggested alterations to the manuscript; and the three-volume 1817 manuscript Fair Copy (transcribed directly from the Draft) that MWS (with some assistance from PBS) prepared between 18 April and 13 May 1817 for the printers; the now lost proofs for 1818 that were set from the Fair Copy; and the now lost revises (that is, corrected proofs) for1818. The extant texts reproduced here in The Frankenstein Notebooks are the surviving manuscripts of the 1816–17 Draft and the 1817 Fair Copy, manuscripts owned by Lord Abinger and now on deposit at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.

The Draft was originally written in two large (hard-cover) notebooks, here denominated Notebooks A and B, now disbound and consisting of a total of 152 leaves (with text on 301 pages) that, together with three insert leaves and two insert slips (with text on a total of 8 pages), account for approximately 87% of the 1818 text (missing are the leaves for Walton's four introductory Letters; for the beginning of Draft: Vol. I, Ch. [1]; for the end of Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 3; and for all of Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [4]). The Fair Copy was originally written in [?eleven] smaller (soft-cover) notebooks, the only surviving ones here denominated Notebooks C1 and C2. These two notebooks are now disbound: 19 leaves are missing; the 29 surviving leaves (with text on 58 pages), together with 1 insert leaf (with text on 1 page) as well as 1 substitute leaf (with repeated text on 2 pages), contain approximately 12% of the received 1818 text.

In an attempt to simplify the complicated sequence of these texts, I offer the following outline.

(For more information on each of these texts [including the dating thereof], consult the "Frankenstein Chronology." See also “Hypothetically Reconstructing an Ur-Text” and “Hypothetically Reconstructing the Fair Copy” below.

Ur-text: Draft(s) of a “story” ([?17] June–[August or September] 1816)—not extant4

1816–17 Draft: 2-volume novel in two hard-cover notebooks ([August or September] 1816–17 April 1817)—most of Notebooks A and B survive

1817 Fair Copy: 3-volume novel in [?eleven] soft-cover notebooks (18 April–13 May 1817)—parts of Notebooks C1 and C2 survive

Proofs ([?23] September–[?3] November 1817)—not extant

Revises ([?23] September–[?20] November 1817)—not extant

1818: 1st Edition in 3 vols. (1 January 1818)—published by Lackington et al. in 500 copies

1818 Thomas: “Thomas” copy of 1st Edition (corrected by MWS
↓ before July 1823)—survives at Pierpont Morgan Library

1823: 2d Edition in 2 vols. (11 August 1823)—published by G. and W. B. Whittaker (but not set from 1818 Thomas)

↓ [1826]: [?Re-issued 2d Edition] (4 April 1826)—apparently issued by Henry Colburn

1831: Revised Edition in 1 vol. (31 October 1831)—published by Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley in 4020 copies

A listing of all the variants (both accidental and substantive) that exist among these extant texts is beyond the scope of this (and, possibly, any) codex edition, and no editor has ever collated all the accidental variants of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling between any two editions. However, nearly complete collations of the substantive or word variants between1818 and 1831 have been published: see the collations in 1818 Rieger (pages 230–259 [and page 288]) and in 1818 Macdonald (pages 317–359)—Rieger but not Macdonald incorporated the readings from 1818 Thomas in his text; for a shorter collation that is prefaced by a useful summary of the type of changes involved, see 1818 Butler (pages 199–228); and, for the most comprehensive collation, one that incorporates the autograph corrections in 1818 Thomas and that also includes substantive variants in 1823 as well as 1831, see 1818 Crook (pages 182–227).5 In this edition, I offer for the first time the parallel texts by which the extant parts of both the 1816–17 Draft and the 1817 Fair Copy can be collated with the 1818 text, and Appendices A and B provide a means for other collations (Draft with extant Fair Copy; and PBS Fair Copy with MWS re-transcription of the Fair Copy).

It should be stressed that these collations and parallel texts are valuable tools by which a reader can and should learn that a text or literary “product” involves a literary “process” that must be understood before any attempt is made to “fix” a text, whether “fix” is understood to mean “establish” or “make firm and unchanging” or “emend and therefore change.” In the case of Frankenstein, the substantive changes that MWS made in her revised edition are so extensive that many teachers and students of Frankenstein consider 1818 and 1831 as two different novels. Among the significant “alterations” made in 1831 are the following: a transformation of Elizabeth from a cousin to a foundling having no blood relation to Victor; a new chapter to accommodate a much longer exposition about Victor's childhood; and a more explicit and earlier introduction of the doppelgänger theme when Victor alludes to Aristophanes' myth of the circular and then divided primal human beings in Plato's Symposium.6 The already published collations between 1818 and 1831 provide an opportunity for any reader of Frankenstein to experience the creative process by which MWS transformed an already published edition into another text, and this edition of The Frankenstein Notebooks extends that opportunity backwards: it publishes for the first time the extant portions of the 1816–17 Draft and the 1817 Fair Copy (both printed parallel to 1818) so that the reader can “see” the transformations of one text into another and, at the same time, “see” the degree of PBS's involvement in these transformations.

In addition to collations and parallel texts, there have been other studies that have addressed the texts of Frankenstein by way of the manuscripts, but each of these has been flawed, in one way or another, because the full texts of The Frankenstein Notebooks, here published for the first time, were not available to benefit the earlier studies. As this edition will make evident, much of the criticism to date on Frankenstein will have to be re-evaluated in light of the collaboration between MWS and PBS, a collaboration that can now be “seen” in this edition by way of the different fonts used to distinguish the Shelleys' often similar manuscript hands. Those who have previously attempted to make those distinctions include James Rieger, E. B. Murray, Ann Mellor, Marie Hélène Huet, and David Ketterer, each of whose contributions will be briefly addressed below in “MWS and PBS's Collaboration in The Frankenstein Notebooks.” Because so many critics of the novel have made factual errors (repeating, e.g., that Frankenstein was published in March 1818 rather than its actual publication date of 1 January 1818), I also refer the reader to the "Frankenstein Chronology;" for a record of the facts about the novel as they can best be determined. Some readers may prefer to go immediately to that Chronology in preparation for reading The Frankenstein Notebooks.

* * * * *

Manuscript Photofacsimile Pages (versos)

These manuscript pages originated in the following notebooks: the 1816–17 Draft in hard-cover Notebooks A (in Dep. c. 477/1 and Dep. c. 534/1) and B (in Dep. c. 534/1); the 1817 Fair Copy in soft-cover Notebooks C1 and C2 (both in Dep. c. 534/2). All of the covers have long been discarded: those on the Draft Notebooks possibly in April/May 1817 when the Draft was transcribed into the Fair Copy; and those on the Fair-Copy Notebooks most likely in September–November 1817 when the Fair Copy was used as printer's copy.


The diagram below may simplify what is a set of very complicated relationships, but I ask the reader's patience to consider first that the two physical Notebooks A and B are paginated not as notebooks but as a two-volume novel. Consider, for example, that the draft of Volume I of the novel concludes not at the end but rather in the midst of Notebook A, at a point (MWS's page 160, a verso) where MWS would soon turn another page: she left blank her next page 161, a recto; then she immediately began the draft of Volume II on the next page (a verso), which she paginated with the number “1” although the preceding page in the same notebook was “161.” (A verso is an unusual place both for a page 1 and for the beginning of a new Volume, either of which would ordinarily be graced by a recto or a right-hand page.) Complicating this matter further is that the division between the two Bodleian deposits of The Frankenstein Notebooks in 1974 and 1976 comes close to but does not quite equal the division between Volumes I and II of the Draft novel. * * * * * Put simply, the Abinger and Bodleian division of Dep. c. 477/1 and Dep. c. 534/1 does not equal the physical division of Notebooks A and B, nor does either of these divisions quite equal MWS's conceptual division of Draft Volumes I and II. These divisions, yet again complicated by the three-volume division of the 1818 first edition (Volume and Chapter numbers may be found at the top of each transcription page) as well as by the two-part division of this edition of The Frankenstein Notebooks (revealed in part by the italicized pages 266 and 268 in the above illustration), demand the following diagram, arranged in chronological order:

Notebooks A
MWS Draft I
1818 I
Bod. Dep. c. 477/1
c. 534/1
c. 534/2
1816–17 Rob. Part One
Part Two

Bodleian Foliation

Although all leaves of The Frankenstein Notebooks are now foliated in pencil at the top right of each recto (and are cited as reference points in the headers, textual commentary, and Quiring Charts), the photofacsimiles of the manuscript leaves (photographed in 1993) reproduce the Bodleian folio numbers only in Dep. c. 477/1 (deposited in 1974 and then foliated by Margaret Crum); Dep. c. 534/1–2, although deposited in 1976, was not foliated until 31 January 1995, when, after a discussion about a suitable ordering of the leaves, Bruce Barker-Benfield penciled the folio numbers onto each recto. The Library's purpose in adding such foliation was not to dictate an order of leaves (the presence of insertions allows for several alternatives) but to enable a neutral mode of citation for each surviving piece of paper.


Notes that address the physical conditions of a manuscript page are positioned with all other textual notes at the bottom of each transcription page.

* * * * *

(. . . [T]echnical descriptions below are based on a text originally prepared by Dr. B. C. Barker-Benfield.)

The remnants of the original Frankenstein Notebooks tell a fascinating tale about the way that MWS created her novel. Part of this tale is evident in the preceding advice on how to use this edition, and the fullest expression of the narrative about these notebooks is to be found in the Frankenstein Chronology; that concludes this Introduction. Here, however, the technical details about the number and makeup of these notebooks at least provide an outline to the creative process involved in the making of Frankenstein. The technical details concerning each of the four extant notebooks are presented separately below, but it is worth mentioning here that all four of these notebooks in which MWS drafted and then fair copied her novel in 1816–17 were originally bound; that the bindings and the covers of all four notebooks have long since disappeared; that the surviving manuscripts in the Abinger papers are all loose leaves, all of which are “singletons” (i.e., single leaves), with the exception of two bifolia that are still joined; and that watermarks, torn edges, glue residue along some edges, sewing holes, and wet offset ink blots provide sufficient evidence by which to reconstruct the original makeup of the quires in each of these notebooks. Moreover, the very nature of the writing in these notebooks proves that MWS drafted and fair copied her novel (and that PBS made his changes and suggested his alterations) while the notebooks were still intact: each main group of now detached leaves includes at least one reconstructed bifolium where the writing overlaps across the two halves; the writing at what would have been the inside edges of some versos displays a wavering and a trailing off, indicating that the writer's hand was impeded by the gutter of the still bound notebook; the writing at the outside edges of the rectos frequently carries over to the outside edge(s) of what would have been the notebook's next leaf (or leaves), a very natural effect when a large volume is splayed open during the process of writing; now missing leaves that were apparently discarded during the composition process have sometimes left wet offset ink blots, suggesting that the leaves were torn from a bound notebook; and different leaves from later quires or from other sources were sometimes inserted into the main sequence of pages in such a way (leaving the evidence of wet offset ink blots or pin holes) to indicate that the main sequence of pages was bound in a notebook. All of this evidence leads to the inescapable conclusion that Frankenstein was drafted and fair copied in notebooks that were purchased as ready-made, bound blankbooks from commercial stationers in England or abroad. Further details about the size and source of the notebooks, the type of covers, the number of pages in each quire, the watermarks, and other particulars are provided separately for each notebook below.

(Dep. c. 477/1, folios 4–28a, 28b–62; Dep. c. 534/1, folios 1–17 * * * * *)
(With Dep. c. 477/1 insert folios 1–3 and Dep. c. 534/1 insert folio 18 * * * * *)

Paper, Watermarks, and Covers

Notebook A survives as 77 leaves of continental laid paper with a light-blue tint, with edges that were commercially cut, and with leaves measuring 270–271 x 186–187 mm., yielding an estimated bifolium-sheet size of 270–271 x 372–374 mm., and a minimum whole-sheet size of 372–374 x 540–542 mm. The leaves were made up into a quarto notebook, with each of the two watermarks split across the reconstructed folds: from the “mould” side, the watermarks read D | ADIVONNE; the countermark is a bell (see Beta-Radiographs, Figs. 1–2; 3–4). There are five sewing holes visible, with three main stations (for cords?) plus holes for the kettle-stitches at the top and bottom. Glue residue at the gutters on outside leaves of quires not only confirm the quiring-structure of the notebook, but also indicate a substantial professional binding with hard covers. The continental paper of the notebook suggests that it was purchased abroad, probably in Geneva or its environs. There are no other examples of this paper in the Bodleian Shelley collections.

Date of Notebook A

([August or September]–[?December] 1816): If MWS purchased this notebook in Geneva, she possibly began drafting Walton's introductory Letters into this notebook as early as August 1816; she made her first insertion on or around 28 October 1816; she appears to have finished drafting the part of her novel in Notebook A on or around 5 December 1816, after or while finishing a “very long” chapter on Safie's arrival and her language instruction; and she may have revised and drastically shortened this “very long” Ch. [4] as late as 10–17 or even 29 April 1817 (see Frankenstein Chronology; for all of these dates), days when she (and probably PBS) made final corrections to the Draft in Notebook A.

Foliation and Pagination in Notebook A

MWS would paginate her notebook as she went along,7 ordinarily at the top outside corner of the page (top left on the verso; top right on the recto). Errors that she corrected at once are not of any great significance, but there are some significant alterations in pagination that help us understand her process of composition, particularly as they relate to the forty missing pages (twenty leaves or folios) at the beginning of the notebook (a number of pages sufficient to have contained the missing text&mdash). In this instance, there is a strong possibility that MWS's page numbers “41” and “43” and “45” on the first three surviving rectos are alterations from numbers “21” and “22” and “23” respectively, suggesting that she had foliated rather than paginated her notebook up to this point but then decided to enumerate each page (verso page numbers “42” and “44” and “46,” as well as recto page number “47” that begins a new chapter, show no sign of having been altered from anything).8

Surviving leaves of the notebook break off abruptly at the 8th leaf in the 12-leaf Quire IX —at Dep. c. 534/1, folio 11 (pages 20/21)—a point in the midst of Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 3. That abruptness, together with the fact that pages 22–56 are not represented at all in Draft and with the fact that insert/rewrite pages beginning at page “57” are in the same paper as the rest of Notebook A, suggest that there are 35 pages (taking up at least 18 leaves) missing at the end of Notebook A.

There are three places in Notebook A where the numerical sequence is out of order: MWS skipped page number “52” when she went from page “51” to “53” (see folio 9 recto and verso); she seemed to have made up for the error when she followed page “58” with another “58” (see folio 12 recto and verso); and she repeated the chapter number “7” (see folios 21 recto and 26 recto)—for all of these, see pages 48–51, 60–63, 96–97, and 116–117 in this edition.

Ruling in Notebook A

With the exception of the insert/rewrite pages labeled “X” and “Y” (for which see below), all other extant pages of Notebook A have a pencil rule (at varying distances from the left edge), possibly made by MWS at one sitting, to create a left margin so that she and PBS had room to revise the text.

Insert Pages in Notebook A

Two insertions into Notebook A, each written on different paper, were foliated by the Bodleian staff at the beginning and the end of the main sequence of notebook pages (Dep. c. 477/1, folios 1–3; Dep. c. 534/1, folio 18—see pages 16–25, 32–35, and 340–341 in this edition). Each of these insertions accommodates new text added to text already drafted in Notebook A, and each was most likely inserted loosely in place in the notebook. There is also another insert section in Notebook A (Dep. c. 534/1, folios 12–17) that was drafted on pages taken from a (presumably) later quire in the notebook. Each of these insertions was occasioned by a trauma in the text, and each demands further description.

First Insert Pages (Dep. c. 477/1, folios 1–3)

The first six-page insertion was written on three unpaginated consecutive leaves that MWS most likely used before she entered “Write Ch. 3½ [altered to 2½]” in her Bath Journal on 27 October 1816 (for an explanation of the circumstances of this insertion, see Frankenstein Chronology; for that date; see also pages 16–25 and 32–35 in this edition). The leaves consist of one bifolium (folios 1–2, with the second leaf mutilated) and one singleton (folio 3, a left half-sheet) of laid paper of cream color (dirtied at the edges), with the bifolium sheet measuring 315–318 x 403–404 mm. From the “felt” side of the paper, the left half of the watermarks reads “T W & B | BOTFIELD”; on the right half is Britannia facing left, over the fancy letters “TW&BB” and the date “1815” in a crowned triple oval (see Beta-Radiographs, Figs. 5–6). The Bodleian Shelley collections have two other certain examples of this same paper, each with identical measurements and the pair of Botfield and 1815 Britannia watermarks.9 Another example of this Botfield paper (watermarked “TW&BB | 1809” rather than “1815”), which was manufactured by the Botfield brothers Thomas, William, and Beriah in the West country—provides some evidence that this paper may have been acquired by MWS in Bath,10 where she was residing at the time.

Second Insert Pages (Dep. c. 534/1, folios 12–17—the “X” and “Y” inserts)

This second insert was written on six leaves that MWS may have used as late as April 1817 when she entered “Correct F.” in her Marlow Journal (see Frankenstein Chronology; below for 10–17 and for 29 April 1817). Because these six leaves of laid paper have the same dimensions, light-blue tint, and watermark that are evidenced in Notebook A and because they exhibit sufficient physical characteristics (identical sewing holes; matching torn edges; pleats at the inner edges of all six leaves, caused either directly by the sewing-thread or by adjacent crumpling), they were most likely three bifolia taken from an unused (the ?last) quire in Notebook A. The fact that two of these reconstructed bifolia give evidence of writing across the inner join leads to an hypothesis involving MWS moving back and forth between two groups of pages here labeled “X” (folios 12 through 15 [pages 57/59, 60/61, 62/blank, and blank/63]) and “Y” (folios 16 and 17 [pages 57/58 and 59+64/65], as well as folio 18 [an unpaglnated slip of different paper that is described as “Third Insert” below]). MWS needed these extra pages in order to revise what was apparently Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [5], a chapter that she would have written not long after finishing a “very long” chapter on 5 December 1816, but the way the name of Safie changes from “Maimouna” to “Amina” to “Safie” in these reconstructed bifolia suggests that she did not make the changes until April 1817. All of these intersections between “X” and “Y” are important because they offer the only manuscript link between the last extant page of Notebook A (Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 3, page 21) and the first extant page of Notebook B (Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [6], page 62). For more information on these name changes, see “Naming in the Frankenstein Notebooks” below.

Third Insert Slip (Dep c. 534/1, folio 18—from the “Y”` Insert)

This third insert was written on a slip of paper that was used to link the last page of light-blue paper in Notebook A (Dep. c. 534/1, folio 17 verso [page 65]) and the first page of cream paper in Notebook B (Dep. c. 534/1, folio 19 recto [page 62]). The slip consists of the top part of one leaf (that is, a half-sheet) of laid paper (commercially cut at top and outside edges), of cream color, that measures 89–91 x 186–188 mm., yielding estimated sheet measurements of [height unknown] x 372–376 mm. The paper has no surviving watermark but is probably of British origin. The lower edge is roughly torn (below the completed text), but the inside edge is more neatly torn against a fold, at which (about 46 mm. from the top edge) is a hole that could well be a sewing hole (though other tears at the inside edge make it hard to be certain). The slip (while blank) may have been torn from another notebook, which may have been turned to because all the light-blue paper of Notebook A had been exhausted. The text follows directly from folio 17 verso (completing the word “language”) and concludes with a later and revised version of part of a sentence that had been written on the top two lines of folio 19 recto, which is the first surviving leaf of Notebook B.

(Dep. c. 534/1, folios 19–37, 39–94 * * * * *)
(With Dep. c. 534/1 insert folio 38 * * * * *)

Paper, Watermarks, and Covers

Notebook B survives as 75 leaves of British laid paper, thickish in weight, cream color, with edges that were commercially cut, and with leaves measuring 310–311 x 199–202 mm., yielding an estimated bifolium-sheet size of 310–311 x 398–404 mm. Technically, the notebook was made up into folio format, with watermarks in the center of each half-sheet. From the “felt” side of the paper, the left half of the sheet has watermarks reading “JL | 1806”; on the right half is Britannia, facing left, in a crowned triple oval (see Beta-Radiographs, Figs. 7–8). There are eight sewing holes visible in the single intact bifolium (folios 41–42—see pages 430–435 in this edition), three pairs at three main stations (presumably for broad tapes) plus holes for the kettle-stitches at top and bottom. Glue residue at the gutters on the outside leaves of quires help to confirm the collation structure and suggest a substantial binding with hard covers. When squared up together, the edges of the leaves show traces of blue and red marbling that once decorated all three outside edges of the closed notebook. There are no other examples of this paper in the Bodleian Shelley collections, but a fragment of PBS's “Speculations on Morals and Metaphysics” (see Pforzheimer SC 339) seems to be on identical paper.12

Date of Notebook B

([?December] 1816–April 1817): If MWS exhausted all or most of the paper in Notebook A on or around 5 December 1816 (see “Date of Notebook A” above), then she probably began Notebook B as early as 6 December 1816. She finished drafting her novel in Notebook B by April 1817, and she (and probably PBS) made final corrections in Draft Notebook B on 10–17 April and, possibly, on 29 April 1817 (see Frankenstein Chronology; below for all these dates; also see transcription page 419 in this edition for the postmark of 9 April 1817 on the slip of paper on which MWS made one of her last revisions).

Foliation and Pagination in Notebook B

MWS would paginate her notebook as she went along, ordinarily at the top outside corner of the page. The uncanceled text on the first surviving leaf of Notebook B (pages 62/63, the “62” conjectural) follows directly from the text on the slip of paper (Dep. c. 534/1, folio 18) that links Notebooks A and B. This first surviving page 62 may have in fact been the first page of the Draft in Notebook B, but the two missing leaves in the first Quire allow for an alternate hypothesis that the original and now missing pages [58–61] actually started Notebook B. If that were the case, then the rewrite inserts “X” and “Y” (which begin with a page “57”) would have been rewrites of what would have been the last page [57] used in Notebook A (a verso consistent with page 21, the last surviving verso of Notebook A's original sequence) together with the first pages [58–61] of Notebook B. Yet another hypothesis (but a less likely one because of the existence of the six light-blue leaves that were still available in Notebook A, possibly as late as April 1817, to be used for inserts “X” and " Y“) is that a substantial portion of the original and now missing pages [22–61] were actually drafted in Notebook B, in effect requiring that MWS used one or possibly two preliminary (now missing) quires of Notebook B for her Draft after the last surviving page 21 of Notebook A. Of course, all of these scenarios recreating the process of composition are premised on MWS having first written that ”very long" Vol. II, Ch. [4] back in December 1816, then having shortened and revised that chapter, and then in the process having revised Ch. [5] once more in the “X” and “Y” inserts (see transcription pages 317 and 319 in this edition as well as the Frankenstein Chronology; for 5 December 1816; see also “Second Insert Pages” and “Third Insert Slip” in the description of Notebook A above).

Ruling in Notebook B

MWS chose not to rule Notebook B with a penciled left margin, but she allowed a left margin on almost all of these 150 pages for her and PBS's later revisions.

Insert Pages in Notebook B

There is one insert slip of different paper at folio 38, and there is one rewrite/insert section of three leaves taken from elsewhere in Notebook B. Both of these insertions reflect MWS's response to PBS's suggestion that Victor rather than his father originate the idea of traveling to England in Draft Vol. II, Ch. 10 (see pages 416–441 in this edition). Each of these insertions demands further description.

First Insert Slip (Dep. c. 534/1, folio 38)

This first insert was written on a slip of paper that was cannibalized from the lower part of the address leaf of a letter from William Godwin to MWS, postmarked 9/[A]P/[1]81713 (see pages 418–419 in this edition), providing a terminus ante quem non for MWS writing this insertion. This date actually dovetails nicely with the intensive period of correcting the draft that MWS recorded in her Marlow Journal for 10–17 April 1817 (see Frankenstein Chronology for these dates). In addition to sets of pin holes revealing that this paper slip was pinned to the preceding folio 37, both folios 37 recto and 38 recto are marked by a large numeral “1” to indicate the sequence of the text (numerals “2,” “3,” “4,” and “5” concern the Second Insert described below). This slip is laid paper, of British origin, that measures 104–112 x 189 mm., yielding an estimated bifolium measurement of [?] x 378 mm. From the “felt” side of the paper, the watermark reads “GO[LDING | &] | SNE[LGROVE]”. The rest of the letter is not present in the Abinger file of Godwin's letters to the Shelleys at the Bodleian (Dep. c. 524), which does, however, have other examples of this “GOLDING & SNELGROVE” paper (e.g., letters to PBS of 12 May and of 4 July 1817, both with a watermark date of “1814”) to allow the definite reconstruction of the missing letters in the watermark of the slip.

Second Insert Pages (Dep. c. 534/l, folios 41–43)

This second insertion was written on three leaves (one still-joined bifolium [folios 41–42] and one singleton [folio 43]) that, with the same color and sewing holes as the paper in Notebook B, were almost certainly cannibalized from another and presumably later quire in this same notebook. Because MWS wrote this text according to PBS's recommendation on folio 39 verso and because she made the first of these revisions on the slip of paper evidently between 9 and 17 April 181714 (and marked “1”—see First Insert above), she made the revisions marked “2” through “5” on this Second Insert at the same period of time.

The pagination of these leaves is different from MWS's usual pattern in Notebook B: folio 41 recto was paginated “101” but at the top left (rather than the top right of a recto) and without the characteristic parenthesis-like line separating the number from the body of the text; folio 41 verso was paginated “102” at the top center in a way recalling or anticipating the pagination of the Fair Copy; and folios 42–43 were left unpaginated. [...] The large numerals 2–5 next to the canceled text signal the sequence of the replacement text in the insert pages. It is possible that MWS made different insertions on 5 or more insert slips of paper but then decided to cancel the entire text on original pages 100–102 and to rewrite the entire section in one place. She apparently began her rewrite after, rather than before, she carefully removed the bifolium and singleton from a later quire in the notebook, writing the new text on the removed leaves while she had the old text open before her.16 This would help to explain, without reference to a central bifolium, the writing on folio 41 verso where the words run over to the still joined but otherwise blank folio 42 recto; it would also help to explain the nature of the wet offset ink blots. For more information on this entire set of revisions that MWS made in April 1817, consult all of pages 416–441 in this edition.

(Dep. c. 534/2, folios 1–18 and 19–29 * * * * *)
(With Dep. c. 534/2 insert folio 30 and substitute folio 31 * * * * *)

Paper, Watermarks, Covers, and Sewing Holes

Fair-Copy Notebooks C1 and C2 survive in a total of 29 leaves of British laid paper, all of the same character and size, cream color (now yellowing), with edges that were commercially cut, and with leaves measuring 223–225 x 176–191 mm. (the leaf width varying so much because of careless cutting after the drafting of the text into the notebooks), yielding an estimated bifolium-sheet size of 223–225 x c. 353–367 mm., and a minimum whole-sheet size of c. 358–367 x 446–450 mm. It can be deduced that technically the leaves were made up into notebooks of quarto format, each consisting of a quire with 24 leaves (or 48 pages) that were sewn at three central stations (the absence of glue residue indicates that these quires were bound as single notebooks rather than bound together like Notebooks A and B).17

Each notebook has watermarks split across the reconstructed folds: from the “felt” side, the watermarks on the surviving eighteen leaves of C1 read posthorn in a crowned shield over the monogrammed letters “P & S” and the watermarks on the surviving eleven leaves of Notebook C2 read “PHIPPS & SON | 1809” (see Beta-Radiographs, Figs. 12–13). The way that the “P & S” watermark in C1 reflects the “PHIPPS & SON” watermark in C2 (together with the fact that the measurements of the leaves in C1 and C2 are identical) means that the two notebooks were made from the same paper, presumably originally supplied by a mill in large whole sheets that contained both watermarks. There are no other recognizable examples of this paper in the Bodleian Shelley collections.

In all likelihood, MWS used a total of [?eleven] notebooks for transcribing her Draft into a Fair Copy (for this estimate, see “Hypothetically Reconstructing the Fair Copy of Frankenstein” below). The two partially extant Notebooks C1 and C2 and the [?nine] now missing notebooks were quite probably matching single-quire, soft-cover notebooks (or exercise books) that were available from many British stationers at this time.18 Notebooks C1 and C2 give ample evidence that MWS (and PBS) fair copied the novel while the leaves were still conjoint in the sewn notebooks, for it is clear that the writing on many leaves was torn or cut through when the notebooks were disassembled. The leaves seem to have been removed from the notebooks by different methods: in C1 they were extracted with three hacking cuts, from the top edge to the first sewing hole, from there to the third sewing hole, and from there to the bottom edge; in C2 the outer leaves (folios 19, 20, 24–29) were severed down the second halves of the bifolia (leaving in the first halves a large stub at the bottom of the gutter and in the second halves a vertical wedge-shaped strip missing at the top) whereas the inner leaves (folios 21–22, 23) were torn out rather than cut—see the photofacsimiles of Fair-Copy Notebooks C1 and C2.

All of these notebooks would have made a reasonably tidy set to circulate to other publishers until Lackington accepted the novel in August/September 1817, after which time the notebooks would have been disbound and used as printer's copy. With the exception of pages 175–187 that PBS transcribed into Notebook C2 (pages that MWS later re-transcribed, apparently before 3 August 1817), the extant pages of the Fair Copy give evidence (ink fingerprints, compositor's initials and notations,19 and folds in the paper) of having been used by the compositors to set the type for the novel. See Frankenstein Chronology; for 3 August 1817 as well as the footnotes on pages 647–777 in this edition for additional information on the disposition of these Notebooks; see “Substitute Pages” below for additional information on MWS's re-transcription of the PBS Fair Copy.

There are additional sewing holes (three, four, or five) in the corners of the extant Fair-Copy leaves that were almost certainly made after the notebooks were disbound. Although it is impossible to determine if the leaves were tagged together with thread before, while, or after they were at the printer, this rough sewing most likely was done in order to secure them together after the printing was finished. (One small piece of white thread is still in one of the sewing holes in the last leaf of the Fair Copy, the only surviving leaf of MWS's re-transcriptlon of PBS's Fair Copy.) Most of these leaves (with the exception of PBS's Fair Copy, which did not go to the printer) also evidence folds that seem to result from their having been posted to or from the printer, and three of the leaves (folios 20 and 23 [pages 143/144 and 167/168]—as well as folio 31 [the substitute re-transcription leaf taken from another notebook] have pleats from the paper having been crumpled and reflattened, possibly while the leaves were in the composing room of the printer).

There is one curious characteristic about the pages from the Fair-Copy Notebooks, namely that MWS followed an exact pattern by writing more lines on one side of each leaf. The extant leaves of Notebooks C1 and C2 show that in the first half of the notebook (up to and including the first leaf of the central bifolium) MWS wrote 14 lines on every recto and 19 lines on every verso; she then would reverse the pattern in the second half of the notebook, that is, from the second leaf of the central bifolium to the end of the notebook. (Note that PBS did not follow MWS'`s exact pattern when he undertook the fair copying near the end of Notebook C2; also note that MWS apparently abandoned that pattern when she re-transcribed PBS's Fair Copy because the notebook pages used for the re-transcription had an equal number of commercially ruled lines on each page.) What caused or enabled MWS to follow such an exact and exacting pattern is not known: it is possible that she used some form of template, but the intersections of a 14-line and a 19-line page on opposite sides of one leaf do not seem to prevent or diminish any kind of aggravating bleed-through or show-through that might make for difficult reading. Because the surviving substitute leaf still has faint traces of commercial ruling and because that leaf came from a notebook that might have been similar to Notebooks C1 and C2, then it is quite possible that all of these pages in Notebooks C1 and C2 had faint commercial ruling that has totally disappeared since MWS copied her novel. That kind of ruling would help explain the change of pattern at the central bifolium, but that still does not explain why there was an apparently random choice of 14 lines on one side of each bifolium and 19 lines on the other. PBS's not following the pattern does not prove anything one way or the other: he might have ignored faint commercial ruled lines in hopes of getting all of the rest of the Draft into this last Fair-Copy Notebook.

Dating of Fair-Copy Notebooks C1 andC2

(18 April–[?13] May 1817): See Frankenstein Chronology; for these dates, for the first of which (18 April) MWS entered “Transcribe” in her journal and for the last of which (a cumulative entry for 10–13 May) she entered “Finish transcribing.” In this same Journal on 14 May, MWS entered that PBS “corrects F.” and that she did “write Preface—Finis”; by 26 May, Byron's publisher John Murray had read some or all of the [?eleven] Fair-Copy Notebooks (see MWS Journal, I,168–169 and 171).

Foliation and Pagination in Notebooks C1 and C2

Ink and other evidence suggest that MWS paginated the notebooks as she went along, possibly a few pages at a time. Page numbers are centered at the top of each page. It also appears that MWS paginated the last thirteen pages of the Fair Copy, the pages on which PBS transcribed the Draft into Notebook C2, all at one time, apparently after PBS made his transcription.

The Quiring Charts indicate that Notebook C1 began on page 91. If the preceding but now missing notebooks were identical to C1 and C2 (each having 48 pages), then the Fair Copy of Volume III of the novel would have occupied most and possibly all of a total of four notebooks: the missing 90 pages would have occupied 45 of the 48 leaves available in the two notebooks preceding C1 and C2; and 97 pages (pages 91–187) would have occupied Notebooks C1 and C2 (supplemented by one Insert Page, for which see below). “Hypothetically Reconstructing the Fair Copy” below suggests that MWS may not have used a new notebook to begin Volume III (or, for that matter, Volume II) of the Fair Copy—if that were the case and if the preceding notebooks had 24 leaves each, then MWS would have begun page 1 of Volume III of the Fair Copy on folio 4 recto of the now missing 24-page notebook, the first three leaves of which would have been used for the final five or six pages of the Fair Copy of Volume II. One variation to these numbers would result if one or both of these notebooks were 26-leaf (or 52-page) notebooks, a possibility suggested by some of the numbers that MWS and PBS entered on the Draft of the novel.

Insert and Substitute Pages in Notebook C2

The final two leaves (folios 30 and 31) associated with Notebook C2, each of which is on paper similar to but not identical with the paper of C2, have text from the concluding section of Volume III of the novel and were written after MWS and PBS had apparently run out of the notebooks that were being used for the last sections of the Fair Copy.

Insert Page (Dep. c. 534/2, folio 30)

This one-page insertion was written on one leaf of British laid paper, cream (now yellowing), with outer edges commercially cut and the inside (left-hand) edge jaggedly hacked just beyond the original fold. The leaf measures 220–222 x 184–188 mm. (fold at 180–181 mm.), yielding an estimated bifolium-sheet size of 220–222 x 360–362 mm., and a minimum whole-sheet size of 360–362 x 440–444 mm. Technically, the leaf was made up into a notebook of quarto format, with the remaining half of the watermark running sideways at the fold. From the “felt” side, the watermark reads “1814,” below almost entirely cut-away capital letters, the first letter possibly a “W” from [?“W TURNER & SON”]. There are no other recognizable examples of this paper in the Bodleian Shelley collections. Sewing holes at the fold prove that this leaf originally belonged to a commercially-supplied notebook that was slightly smaller than Notebook C2 but possibly quite similar to it in appearance. However, the possible evidence of sewing-tapes at three stations and of kettle stitches suggests that this notebook may have been a thicker volume with multiple quires.

This insert leaf with PBS text (but paginated “187” by MWS—apparently after PBS had transcribed the text) was made necessary because PBS had run out of room in the 48-page Fair-Copy Notebook C2 and needed one more page to conclude the transcription of the novel. After PBS transcribed the text on to this insert leaf, it was immediately inserted into Notebook C2, as is evidenced by the wet offset ink blots from it on to the facing folio 29 verso, the last leaf of Notebook C2.20 For more explanation on the positioning of this insert leaf, see the footnotes to transcription page 771 in this edition.

Substitute Pages (Dep. c. 534/2, folio 31)

This two-page substitute was written on one leaf of British laid paper, cream (now yellowing), with outer edges commercially cut and the inside (left-hand) edge neatly torn and with very faint traces of horizontal commercial ruling in lines c. 12 mm. apart. The leaf measures 225–227 x 181–183 mm., yielding an estimated bifolium-sheet size of 225–227 x 362–366 mm., and a minimum whole-sheet size of 362–366 x 450–454 mm. Technically, the leaf was made up into a notebook of quarto format, with the remaining half of the watermark set sideways at the torn edge. From the “felt” side, the watermark is a posthorn in a crowned shield (top half only).

This one leaf appears to have come from a commercially-supplied notebook (very similar to but slightly taller than Notebooks C1 and C2) that was almost identical to another notebook from which MWS used twelve leaves on 13 July 1817 for writing down PBS's dictated translation of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, lines 1–314 (Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. c. 5, folios 73–84, text identified as PBS's in Barker-Benfield, Guitar, pages 88–89). The almost identical source21 suggests that MWS may have written her substitute text in the summer of 1817, a conjecture supported by other evidence (see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for 13 July and for 3 August 1817). The traces of regular sewing holes in both the one-leaf and the twelve-leaf samples indicate that both samples were torn from single-section notebooks of probably 24 leaves each, much like Notebooks C1 and C2. On the Frankenstein leaf there is also a cluster of later, irregular sewing holes (through one of which is a fragment of white thread) at the inner top corner. These holes, only roughly similar to the irregular sewing holes in other C2 leaves, were probably made when this single leaf was stitched to other now missing substitute pages. See “Hypothetically Reconstructing the Fair Copy” (as well as the footnotes on transcription page 777 in this edition) for evidence that MWS actually used eight leaves (fifteen pages) for her re-transcription of PBS's Fair Copy.

The names of the characters in Frankenstein are important for many reasons, not the least being that naming is a ritual event—indeed, a symbolic event—by which the namer (e.g., the parent baptizing a child) exercises an authority over the named. Nothing brings this truth home more than my facing the responsibility of naming the unnamed being created by Victor Frankenstein—should I denominate him “being” or “creature” or “monster” or any number of other cognomens (e.g., “wretch”), all names that are in the novel, although each is filtered through the consciousnesses of Walton, Victor, the “monster” himself, and the De Laceys?22 MWS herself avoided giving him a name in the novel, and after she saw a dramatic production of Frankenstein in 1823 she approved the use of “--------” for the character played “by Mr T. Cooke: this nameless mode of naming the un{n}ameable is rather good” (see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for 9 September 1823). My choice of name will undoubtedly dictate a response, and I am certain that some readers up to this point have been dissatisfied with my calling their “creature” a “monster,” a choice culturally conditioned, I am sure, by the movie incarnations of Frankenstein, but a choice in keeping with both MWS and PBS begging (or, more likely, posing) the question of the name, in keeping with what MWS said about the monster in her 1831 Introduction and elsewhere, and in keeping with my own personal reading of the novel.

I have attempted to be as objective and factual as possible in editing this novel, and I do not intend to offer any extensive analysis at this point. However, I will indulge myself in a paragraph and acknowledge that I teach Frankenstein as a doppelgänger novel, one in which MWS used all of the major characters to reflect parts of Victor Frankenstein's psychological being. In some ways the novel ends the night that it originally began with the words “It was on a dreary night of November.” That is to say, Victor committed psychic suicide that night when he created the monster: his pursuit of knowledge caused him to destroy love, to “procrastinate” and to “weaken” his “affections”—in effect to deal his heart a mortal wound, the heart represented by Clerval (“the image of [his] former self”) and by Elizabeth (called the “living spirit of love” in 1831, page 25; for the other quotations above, see transcription pages 91, 93, 97, and 453 in this edition). And the rest of the novel may be read as an externalization, a literalization of that psychic suicide: Victor in the form of the monster actually killed the better part of himself in the form of Clerval and Elizabeth. In other words, Victor the creature usurped the powers of a creator: he left his Eden of Geneva and family and fell from innocence to experience while eating of the tree of knowledge at Ingolstadt. In that fall Victor became psychologically disfigured, and the “creature” (who was initially born in the image of his creator) was destined (with the creative artist MWS controlling this “destiny”) to mirror his creator's fall from psychological wholeness and to die finally as a “monster.” I have merely chosen to denominate the unnamed with his last name rather than his first.

Even MWS in her 1831 Introduction called the monster a “hideous phantasm,” a “horrid thing,” and a “hideous progeny.”23 By these phrases, she seems to have avoided both “creature” and “monster”—and therefore probably intended to implicate the reader in name calling. I concede the point of many critics (and even PBS) who prefer to call this monster a “being” or a “creature” because his monstrosity was “occasioned” (and I choose that word with care) by Victor and by other circumstances—even PBS in his Athenæum review of the novel (see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for 10 November 1832) referred most often to the “Being” and once to the “tremendous creature” whose only association with the “monstrous” was in the “circumstances of his existence.” Although PBS did not quite acquit the Being of his “crimes and malevolence,” he argued that they “flow inevitably from certain causes fully adequate to their production. They are the children, as it were, of Necessity and Human Nature.” What sounds a little bit like Heredity vs. Environment is really almost all the latter, because for PBS both “Necessity” and “Human Nature” (apparently, the nature of other humans; if not that, then something akin to “destiny”) seem to assign more blame to others than to the Being. As PBS would have it, “Treat a person ill, and he will become wicked.” I can understand but cannot agree with PBS or with others who prefer to cast the blame primarily or exclusively on that which lies outside the individual. In short, I sympathize with the monster and prefer him to Victor, but I also judge that he is culpable for monstrous acts of murder and revenge—and PBS should have judged him by the same standard that he used in 1819 to judge Beatrice Cenci: “Revenge, retaliation, atonement, are pernicious mistakes.” Indeed, the PBS of 1819 would have been a better reviewer of the 1818 novel, and I here appropriate what PBS said about Beatrice Cenci: “It is in the restless and anatomizing casuistry with which men seek the justification or [the monster], yet feel that [he]24 has done what needs justification; it is in the superstitious horror with which they contemplate alike [his] wrongs and their revenge; that the dramatic character of what [he] did and suffered, consists” (PBS Cenci, page x). Such a sentence reveals the genius of PBS as dramatist and the genius of MWS as novelist—both wished to implicate the reader in moral dilemmas, and MWS forced a very hard decision on her editors and her readers.

The names of the other characters in Frankenstein are just as important for the meaning of the novel. Many critics have previously remarked on the injustice done to Justine, on the more masculine Frankenstein opposed to a more feminine Clerval, and on Safie (a variant of Sophia) standing at the center of this novel about the dangerous consequences of the pursuit of knowledge. Those who study these etymologies will be delighted to discover in The Frankenstein Notebooks that MWS entertained and used other names for a number of characters, the most important of which are Elizabeth, Clerval, and Safie. I am concerned less with the root meanings of these and other characters' changing names and more with the fact that these changes give evidence of the ur-text as well as the process and sometimes the date of revisions in the Notebooks. (For a recent and extended discussion of the possible sources of some of the names in Frankenstein, especially a single source for the name of Maimouna/Amina/Safie, see Ketterer, “Draft,” pages 250–274.25)

Elizabeth Lavenza was called “Myrtella” (“myrtle,” held sacred by Venus, was an emblem of love) in Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 10, page 117, and in Ch. 13, page 148, two Notebook A passages that MWS drafted apparently in November 1816, one before and one after the 20th (see transcription pages 181 and 243 in this edition). In both cases the most logical explanation is that MWS was copying from an ur-text where “Myrtella” was the name of Victor's cousin and betrothed. In both cases the earlier name was replaced by “Elizabeth,” the name MWS had decided upon no later than early October 1816, by which time she was writing the name “Elizabeth” on the first extant page of Notebook A. There is another and later place in Notebook B where MWS may have started to write “Myrtella” when she meant to write “Elizabeth”—see “M Elizabeth” in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 10, original page 102 (see transcription page 441 in this edition), a passage that may have been drafted in early January 1817. (For the conjectured dates when MWS was drafting these passages, see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for November 1816 and for January 1817.)

Henry Clerval went through a more complicated series of incarnations. He was evidently called “Henry Carignan” in the ur-text as well as in the beginning pages of the extant Draft, but within three pages “Carignan” had become “Clerval&rdquo. MWS would have made this change no later than early October 1816, and “Clerval” (or the variant “Clairval”) was the form used throughout the remainder of the novel. The abandoned name “Carignan” has been glossed in 1818 Crook (page 25) in a note to the spa town of Thonon that Victor and his family visited when he was thirteen (“eleven” in the Draft). According to Crook, Thonon had been recently restored to the kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia, the second in line for the throne of which was Charles Albert Savoy-Carignan, whose irregular Rousseauesque education was a matter of some concern at the time. Crook then hinted that MWS might have had something in mind with Clerval's earlier name when she suggested that “these topicalities may lie, displaced, behind Frankenstein.”

Not only the topical or the literary stood behind some of the names in MWS's fiction—she also would name her characters with reference to or echoes of the names among her circle of acquaintances. Such seems to be the case with “Clerval,” which recalls “Clairmont”—not so much Claire Clairmont but rather Charles Clairmont, whose interest in languages parallels that of Henry Clerval. At one period while drafting her novel, MWS appears to have made the echo even greater, for there are twenty places in Notebook B where the name is “Clairval” (only later was the “ai” canceled and replaced by an “e” in nineteen of these places, the cancelations most likely made at one sitting in April/May 1817—see below for more on this dating). Because the variations on Clerval's name can lead to very misleading suppositions,26 I offer the following chronology that best explains what happened.

[?June–late September] 1816

“Carignan” in the ur-text (see above for explanation).

[no later than early October] 1816

“Carignan” written and then canceled and then replaced by “Clerval” in Draft: Vol. I, Ch. [1] (see above for explanation).

[?early January 1817]

“Clairval” was the name in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 10, original page 100, but “Clerval” was the name later in this chapter on original pages 101–103. This apparently incorrect or at least inconsistent “Clairval” was not separately corrected to “Clerval” (see below for the nineteen places where MWS did alter “Clairval” to “Clerval”), but the passage in which “Clairval” appeared was canceled by MWS between 18 April and 10/13 May 1817, making the separate alteration unnecessary. When an unpaginated insert was added to Ch. 10 in April/May 1817, “Clerval” was used.

[?early January 1817] and [?18 March–9 April 1817]

The one use of “Clairval” in Ch. 10 (possibly a mistake occasioned by MWS often writing out the names “Claire” and “Clairmont” in letters) may have prompted MWS to change the spelling of the name, for the next nineteen instances of the name in Draft: Vol. II, Chs. 11–17, were “Clairval,” each of which was altered to “Clerval” at a later time, most likely in April/May 1817 at one sitting when MWS was fair copying her novel. The first “ai” that is canceled and replaced by “e” is in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 11 [renumbered “2” for the three-volume sequence], page 108: the dark ink on the renumbered chapter “2” seems to be the same as that used for the alterations of “Clairval” to “Clerval.”

[?early April 1817]

By this time, MWS had decided on “Clerval” as evidenced by the six instances of that spelling in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 18, and by the four instances of that spelling in the extant Fair Copy.

[?April/May 1817]

MWS altered the nineteen instances of “Clairval” to “Clerval,” most likely during the time she was fair copying her novel.

Safie most likely was not in the ur-text, and when she was introduced into that “very long” Chapter 4 that MWS wrote in late November/early December (she finished it by 5 December—see "Frankenstein Chronology;" she was apparently first called “Maimouna,” a name that may be traced to Robert Southey's Maimuna in Thalaba, a name that PBS used as a nickname for his friend Mrs. Boinville and that he used in his prose fragment “The Assassins” for Khaled's daughter (a precursor of Cythna in PBS's Laon and Cythna).27 The evidence that Safie was first called “Maimouna” is to be found in Notebook B as well as in the “X” and “Y” rewrite inserts that MWS used to help join Notebooks A and B in April 1817. When MWS started to rewrite this section of her novel on the yet remaining paper from Notebook A (and we lack any manuscript evidence for earlier sections of the Safie episode), she first changed the already denominated “Maimouna” to “Amina” and used that name four times on Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [5], page 59 and page 60 [“X” insert] but then mistakenly reverted to “Maimouna” (only to change it to “Amina”) one more time on page 60. MWS then decided to rewrite this “X” insert with a “Y” insert by which time she had decided on the name “Safie,” a name that MWS apparently did not use in her novel prior to April 1817.28 She continued her narrative about the newly named “Safie” up through half of Draft: Ch. [5], page 59+64 [“Y” insert] and then doubled back to use already existing text in “X” where she replaced the short-lived “Amina” with “girl” in one place (on page 59) and with the new name of “Safie” three times (twice on page 59 and once on page 60). Pen and ink evidence suggest that MWS had stopped writing on the “X” pages at line 25; having reached that point by doubling back, she then began again to write her revised narrative at lines 25 and 26 of Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [5], page 60 [“X” insert], from which point Safie was called only “Safie.” “Safie” continued to be the unemended name as MWS finished the rewrite on “X” and then returned to the “Y” insert and began again to rewrite her narrative at lines 13–14 in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [5], page 59+64 [“Y” insert]. (Those not wishing to follow all these intricacies are invited merely to follow the narrative in the sequence I have outlined by reading the unshadowed sections in pages 317–341 in this edition.) That all of these changes from the original “Maimouna” to the short-lived and intermediating “Amina” to the final “Safie” were made in April 1817 (after MWS had finished all or most of her Draft) is indicated by the fact that MWS continued to use the original “Maimouna” in the remaining chapters of Notebook B: in each of these cases, after MWS began correcting her Draft a few days later in April, the original “Maimouna” was changed directly to “Safie,” MWS having already tried and then rejected the intermediating “Amina” when she wrote the “X” and “Y” inserts.

There are additional name changes in the Draft (including adding letters to finish an initial capital) in Frankenstein that show MWS's artistry at work: the professor “M.K” became “M. Krempe” the professor “M.W.” first became “Mr. Waldham” and then “M. Waldman” “Justine Martin” became “Justine Moritz” the child “Louisa M [or ?B]” became “Louisa [?Caln (or ?Valn)]” became “Louisa Biron” the pretty “Miss Mansfeld” became “Miss Mansfield” in 1818 without any evidence for the change in the Draft; the rich banker “M. Hofland” became “M. Duvillard” in 1818 without any evidence for the change in the Draft; Victor's mother “Caroline Beaumont” became “Caroline Beaufort” in 1818 without any evidence for the change in the Draft. “Biron” of course echoes Byron, and “Duvillard” was the surname of MWS's Swiss maid Elise. All of the names in the novel, of course, have antecedents, and the name “Frankenstein” is no exception. Most often, it is linked by way of science and “lightning” to Benjamin Franklin, but Florescu (pages 58 ff.) has traced the name to the Castle Frankenstein in Germany that MWS and PBS and Claire Clairmont may have visited during their six weeks' tour in 1814. This edition may make it possible for new research on all of the names in Frankenstein.29

It is dangerous to speculate about the ur-text of Frankenstein, for it could have been very short and inconsequential; and it is possible, therefore, that everything mediating between such an ur-text and the Draft was nothing more than now discarded rough drafts of pages and sections that never had any integrity or identity as a separate text. However, there are clues in the Draft that MWS may have been copying from and expanding upon what she called her “story”—an ur-text of some length that she had written in the summer of 1816. The remarks on the names above suggest that Frankenstein spent his childhood with Myrtella and Carignan in that ur-text, and that maybe his mother's maiden name was Beaumont. However, it should be stressed that every changed name does not an ur-text character make. Other evidence suggests, e.g., that the very long chapter about “Maimouna” (who then became “Amina” and then “Safie”) was not drafted or even conceived until late November or early December 1816.

It is easier to speculate about what was not in the ur-text than to prove what was there. One way for MWS to enlarge her “story” into a “book” or novel was to add new characters and incidents to the outside and to the inside of her frame tale. That is, it is likely that neither the Captain (Walton from the outside narrative frame) nor the Arabian (Safie from the innermost tale) was in the original ur-text—and there is no persuasive manuscript evidence to suggest that they were.30 Whether the other parts of the De Lacey episode were contained in the ur-text, with a possibly different mechanism for the monster learning to speak and read, I cannot determine. Everything else, however, may have been sketched out in one form or another in the summer of 1816. MWS tells us that the tale began with the line “It was on a dreary night of November.” Reasoning from that fact, we can speculate that the ur-text had three distinct parts (although it is impossible to determine just how long each one was): the creation scene; the scenes before the creation; the scenes after the creation. Evidence for each of these parts in the ur-text comes from the following sources: (1) MWS's statements in her Journals, her letters, and her 1831 Introduction; (2) mistakes in transcription that are best explained as copying rather than drafting errors; (3) a Draft page or chapter that underwent only minimal cancelation and revision when it was initially drafted into the Notebook (suggesting that it was an intermediate Draft that had been copied from an earlier version); (4) a Draft page or chapter with relatively full and/or precise pointing, suggesting that MWS and/or PBS had worked through the punctuation in an earlier complete draft; and, finally, (5) references in a part of the ur-text (hypothetically reconstructed by means of the evidence listed above) suggesting that other characters and incidents were elsewhere in the ur-text. With these evidences in mind, I offer the following observations about the ur-text, again reminding the reader that some of the evidence of an earlier state may merely mean there were intervening rough drafts rather than an ur-text.

The Creation Chapter

The creation chapter (Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 7a) is the one for which there is the strongest likelihood of its having existed in the ur-text. MWS indicated in her 1831 Introduction that she began her original tale on [?17] June (the morning after her dream) with the words “It was on a dreary night of November” (see transcription page 97 in this edition). These words may have begun the ur-text itself or, over the summer, they may have been preceded by introductory sections or chapters leading up to the creation scene. That the ur-text contained a description of that “dreary night” and its immediate aftermath is suggested by the relatively “clean” Draft: Ch. 7a, which has few MWS interlineations and cancelations made in the process of drafting (the additional interlinear and marginal alterations were a consequence of PBS's hand in the manuscript at a later time).

Chapters (or Characters and Incidents) before the Creation

If “It was on a dreary night of November” were preceded in the ur-text by other sections and if Ch. 7a was mainly a transcription of the creation scene and its immediate aftermath, then the other references in Ch. 7a to Ingolstadt, to the Swiss diligence, to Clerval, to Elizabeth, and to Victor's father, brother, and dead mother suggest that the ur-text would have also depicted Victor's adolescence in Geneva and his later experiences with Professors “K” and “W” in Ingolstadt. The relatively “clean” and accurately pointed pre-creation chapters (Draft: Vol. I, Chs. [l]–6) also argue for this ur-text about the young Victor and Myrtella and Carignan in Geneva. Two not-so-clean aspects of these early chapters are worthy of note here: the rough draft (folios 1–3) that MWS added to Notebook A in late October/early November 1816 offers further evidence that the originally drafted and “cleaner” Chapters were based on an ur-text; and any reconstruction of the drafting process must mentally eliminate the frequent and later interventions by PBS in the Draft. The existence of the relatively “clean” Chs. [l]–6, however, does not necessarily mean that they were mere copies of fully articulated chapters in the ur-text. That is, it is unlikely that an ur-text behind all of Draft Chs. [1]–7a (what originally occupied MWS pages [?34]–84) consisted of 50 pages; more likely it was no more than half that length, which would still have made it possible for MWS to expand her ur-text into her Draft without much cancelation and revision as she went along. Determining which of the pages or incidents or characters were expanded may prove impossible, but future speculation should be based on such concrete evidence as name changes and transcription mistakes.31

Chapters (or Characters and Incidents) after the Creation

If the ur-text contained most of the creation chapter (Ch. 7a) and some of the preceding chapters (Chs. [l]–6), it is likely that the ur-text also dealt with the consequences of the creation. If we use the same standard of a “clean” text for Draft: Vol. I, Chs. 7b–12, then the incidents of William's murder and Justine's imprisonment and death were part of the ur-text, a possibility supported by apparent copying errors in the Draft (see especially the mistranscription of the name “Myrtella” in the Justine section on pages 180–181 in this edition; see also pages 156–157, lines 31 and 36). The next Chs. 13–14 have relatively more copying errors32 and suggest that MWS was drafting new material at the same time that she was copying some things from earlier incarnations, possibly from the ur-text. An index of the kind of copying from an earlier text is to be found at the end of Vol. I in Notebook A (see note on transcription page 253 in this edition). MWS had finished drafting Ch. 14 (the last chapter of Vol. I) on three leaves that she paginated 153–157; for some reason she tore pages 153–156 (2 leaves) from the notebook, canceled the concluding paragraph she had just written on page 157 (which she then renumbered “153”), and then drafted a second and longer conclusion to this last chapter of Vol. I on pages 153–160. Although the shorter version originally written on pages 153–156 is missing, the extant pages 153–160 reveal what rewritten and expanded pages would look like when they are based on what was apparently a fairly good draft.

If, as is likely, parts of Chs. 13 and 14 (which record Victor's excursion to Chamounix) were in the ur-text, then MWS probably wrote it while she was still in Switzerland, possibly when she was at Chamounix (see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for 21–27 July and for 24 July 1816). If that were the case, then in late July and early August she may have written the first portions of the monster's narrative, the Draft of which dramatically opens Vol. II, where Chs. 1–3 have the same “clean” and well-pointed text by which an ur-text could be inferred. If that were the case, then the ur-text had at least introduced the De Laceys into the monster's life. After that, inferences get much murkier, because what appear to have been original pages 22–61 of Vol. II (which linked Notebooks A and B) are not extant. That there was no ur-text for much of these now missing pages is suggested by three circumstances: the missing pages suggest a trauma in the newly conceived text that required considerable drafting and redrafting; the missing pages were the first to introduce the story of Safie (initially named “Maimouna”), the innermost character whom MWS apparently created to expand her “story” into a “book”; and it appears that MWS was excited enough by writing this new section about the Arabian to announce to PBS on 5 December 1816 that she had “finished the 4 Chap. of Frankenstein which is a very long one & I think you would like it” (see "Frankenstein Chronology;" for that date). By hoping that PBS “would like it,” MWS is telling us that the Safie episode (and therefore the chapters in which the monster learned to read) were not in the ur-text. That all of this text was relatively new is also suggested by the rewrite Inserts “X” and “Y” (see pages 314–341 in this edition). In short, the missing forty pages and the rewrite sections are probably typical antecedents to the kind of “clean” Draft that makes up most of Notebook A.

Notebook B is a very different matter, and the very fact that it does not have a vertical pencil rule creating a left margin may tell us something about how MWS saw the remainder of her task: that she was not working from an ur-text in the same way she had been in most of Notebook A. The evidence for such a distinction is circumstantial, but there is a clear difference between the two manuscript versions of MWS's 1819 novella “Mathilda”: her revised and later draft of “Mathilda,” which resembles something between a final Draft and a Fair Copy, has a distinct pencil ruled margin similar to Notebook A of Frankenstein, whereas the earlier and rougher Draft that MWS entitled “Fields of Fancy” was drafted on pages that much more resemble Notebook B of Frankenstein, having a margin with no rule and a text in a greater state of revision and flux.33 It is possible that this distinction between an unruled and a ruled set of pages might have enabled MWS to keep her drafts in order as she transcribed one from another.

How much of Notebook B was in the ur-text is difficult to conjecture: the sometimes “clean” text might mean that the monster's confrontation with the De Laceys (minus Safie) might have been sketched out in the summer of 1816—as most likely was the monster's murder of William (if it is inferred that Justine's trial was part of the ur-text). Proceeding further down this road would transform the ur-text into a mini-novel of some length, with only the Captain on the outside and the Arabian on the inside missing from what MWS had drafted in Geneva—that is to say, the ur-text may also have contained a skeletal form of the chapters in England and Scotland where Victor began making a mate for the monster (Draft: Vol. II, Chs. 11–15) as well as of the chapters back in Geneva and Evian where the monster murdered Elizabeth on her wedding night (Chs. 16–17). If these chapters were in the ur-text, the “busier” look to Notebook B (and, in many places, its more inexact pointing) suggests that MWS was doing much more than copying from or embellishing a well-developed ur-text at this point. Finally, arguing from the likelihood that the beginning of the Walton frame was never in the ur-text, we can conclude that most or all of the last scenes in the Arctic were not there as well. So after all this conjecturing, we end where we began, with the suspicion that neither Walton nor Safie were part of the ur-text, a text that may have contained in a shorter form much of the novel as it is represented by Notebooks A and B.

It is possible to deduce that MWS used eleven Fair-Copy Notebooks when she (and PBS) transcribed the Draft into a Fair Copy that would become printer's copy. The easiest way to argue that point is to note how close the pagination of the extant Fair-Copy Notebooks C1 and C2 was to the pagination in the 1818 edition: Fair Copy: Vol. III, Ch. [V], page 99 = 1818: Vol. III, Ch. V, pages 100–101 Fair Copy: Vol. III, Ch. VII, page 175 = 1818: Vol. III, Ch. VII, pages 176–178. Because MWS took painstaking care in transcribing her text into Notebooks C1 and C2, we may surmise that the same care and precision were employed in earlier notebooks and that she fair copied her Draft in the same way, with a new pagination sequence for each volume and with a relatively rigid number of words and lines per page, per leaf, and per notebook. If, then, the page numbers of the Fair-Copy Notebooks (even allowing for the blank spaces at the ends and beginnings of chapters, a characteristic of the notebooks as well as of 1818) were always close to the page numbers in 1818 (which had 181 pages in Vol. I, 156 pages in Vol. II, and 192 pages in Vol. III), then there would have been approximately 529 pages (181 + 156 + 192) in the Fair Copy. If the other notebooks were identical or similar to C1 and C2 (each of which had 48 pages), then the total of eleven notebooks would have proved just right: 11 x 48 = 528. It almost seems too perfect that the one extra page in 1818 meant that PBS had to find one extra page (folio 30 in Dep. c. 534/2) in order to write the last page of the Fair Copy. Such a calculation is, of course, too perfect, because we know that MWS and/or PBS made additions to the proofs (that is, there was text added in 1818 that was not in the Fair Copy). And, of course, MWS and/or PBS may have totally eliminated (rather than replaced) text in the proofs that had been in the Fair Copy. But neither of these actions cast much doubt on the approximation here, that eleven Fair-Copy Notebooks would have been sufficient to contain the text that produced 1818. In fact, there is evidence that some of these notebooks had 52 rather than 48 pages—in each of those cases, a notebook consisted of thirteen folded sheets that made up 26 leaves or 52 pages.

Further proof that the pagination in both Fair Copy and 1818 were nearly identical is revealed by the marginal numbers that MWS and PBS entered on the Draft pages in April/May 1817 when they were recording and estimating the proportions of the three-volume Fair Copy that they were creating out of a two-volume Draft. The meaning of all these numbers eluded me until I recognized that the Fair-Copy pagination approximated the 1818 pagination, enabling me to offer the following gloss for these otherwise inexplicable numbers.


This PBS number on Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 7a, page 80, apparently records the “52” leaves or “104” pages that had been used to fair copy the Draft up to this point— the 1818 equivalent is page “105.” It is possible that the “52” meant that the Fair Copy up to this point had used two complete notebooks of 24 leaves each, plus an additional four leaves in a third notebook, but there is no end of chapter or like stopping point in the Draft to warrant the notation. It is more likely that “52” designated two complete notebooks of 26 leaves each. As will be the case for the numbers discussed below, a deduction based on number of words rather than pages would support the same conclusion: the number of 1818 words up to this point and the estimated number of Draft words (estimated because half of the pages up to this point are missing) would occupy approximately two 24- or 26-page notebooks (or 2/11 of the novel) at MWS's average of 285 words per leaf evidenced by extant Notebooks C1 and C2 (the estimate has to be for a leaf because MWS wrote more lines on one side than the other—see “The Makeup of The Frankenstein Notebooks&rdquo).

“52” together with calculation up to a canceled “156” and an emphasized “180”

These PBS numbers on Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 7a, page 81, appear to calculate the number of pages that were used to transcribe all of Fair Copy: Vol. I, which amounted to 181 pages in 1818 (see transcription page 221 in this edition), a number suggesting that Fair Copy: Vol. I also had approximately 181 pages). If Fair Copy: Vol. I occupied 180 pages, then it would have filled approximately three and one-half Fair-Copy Notebooks: in PBS's calculations, one number “52” denoted 52 leaves that generated “104” pages (that is, two 26-leaf notebooks); another “52” appears to denote “52” pages (one 26-leaf notebook); the number “24” appears to denote 24 pages (that is, half of a 24-leaf notebook or almost half of a 26-leaf notebook); and the sum “180” denoted the estimated or actual total of 180 Fair-Copy pages used for Vol. I.34 These calculations were very important to the Shelleys, who were attempting (in April/May 1817) to divide the two-volume Draft into a three-volume Fair Copy, a process that demanded accurate estimates of the number of pages per volume. Moreover, the evidence of Notebooks C1 and C2 suggest that MWS was preparing very fine fair copies to impress a publisher—and that (as a daughter of a publisher) she might have been writing to rule, transcribing in such a way (with faintly ruled lines or with a template) that she knew approximately how many words she was getting to each page, to each notebook, and to each volume (Godwin may have been equally aware of such matters when he entered page numbers of his drafts into his Diary).

“Ch V- 113”

This MWS number on Draft: Vol. I., Ch. 7b, page 87, was not written in the Autumn of 1817 and did not refer to the fact that 1818: Vol. I, Ch. V, began on page 114 (with the implication that there was a change from proof to revise, or that MWS got the number wrong by one); rather, because the Fair-Copy pages approximated the 1818 pages, this number reveals MWS recording in April/May 1817 that she was beginning this Fair Copy: Vol. I, Ch. V on page 113—that is, 113/180ths through Vol. I. (With a little more maths, it would be possible to estimate just what day between 18 April and 13 May that MWS made this entry.)

“20” and “15”

These [?MWS] numbers on Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 8, page 102, seem to be echoed by the PBS numbers of “20” + “37” = “57” on page 137 (for which, see below), but I am not certain what they mean. Although they may refer to the number of pages MWS had just transcribed, they more likely suggest that it took approximately twenty pages of Fair Copy to transcribe fifteen pages of Draft. That 75% relationship may have been become clear to the Shelleys as they continued to transcribe. Although the Fair-Copy pages are not extant at this point to offer exact percentages, there is a 76% relationship between the estimated 180 Fair-Copy pages for Vol. I and the 143 pages of Draft up to that point (if we, as the Shelleys might have done, forget about the 6 insert pages at the beginning of the extant Notebook A).

“20” + “37” = “57”

These PBS numbers on Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 12, page 137, seem to echo the “20” + “15” on page 102 (for which, see above). It is possible that “57” may have something to do with the 57 pages between page 80 (where PBS first entered a number) and this page 137—or with the 58 pages between page 102 (where MWS last entered numbers) and page 160 (where Vol. I. ends).

“100” and “130” with calculations to a sum of “205”

These PBS numbers on Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 14, page 152, seem to indicate that MWS had used “205” Fair-Copy pages, an amount that approximates the 1818 pages used to this point: 181 pages (in Vol. I) + 21 pages (in Vol. II) = 202 pages. This number also suggests that MWS had just finished the 4th Fair-Copy Notebook (three notebooks of 26 leaves each [=156 pages] plus one notebook of 26 or 24 leaves [=52 or 48 pages] would equal 208 or 204 pages).

“169” and “191” and the sums leading up to these numbers

These two sums on Draft: Vol. II, Ch. [6], page 62 (the first extant page of Notebook B), seem to be estimates of the number of pages that will be occupied by Fair Copy: Vol. II and Fair Copy: Vol. III. MWS started her sums leading up to “169” with the number “98” and ended it with “97”—one of these numbers suggests the now missing Fair Copy: Vol. II, Ch. [VI], page 97 or page 98 (a number in tandem with 1818: Vol. II, Ch. VII, page 98, where Ch. VII begins (see transcription page 343, which is the first extant page of Notebook B). The sum of “169” either records or predicts the total number of pages in Draft: Vol. II (in that 1818: Vol. II had a total of 156 pages).

PBS seems to have used a similar form of calculation to reach his sum of “191,” a number that most likely records or estimates the 191 pages in Fair Copy: Vol. III (in that 1818: Vol. III had 192 pages). The fact that these important numbers are on the first extant page of Notebook B suggests that this page 62 was in fact the first page of Notebook B, at least in April/May when the Shelleys transcribed the Draft into a Fair Copy (and when they were doing these calculations). This conclusion supports my hypothesis elsewhere that the missing pages that at one time joined Notebooks A and B were probably from Notebook A.


This PBS number (which could possibly be “320”) on Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 8, page 87, is most likely a record of just how many pages had been used in the Fair Copy up to this point, a number confirmed by the number of equivalent 1818 pages: 181 (in Vol. I) + 136 (up to this point in Vol. II) = 317. This number may also tell us that the Shelleys had just finished their 6th Fair-Copy Notebook: we already suspect the first two notebooks used 52 pages each, and the third notebook may have had 52 pages, yielding 156 pages in all—if the next three Notebooks had the same number of pages, the six notebooks would have had a usable total of 312 pages, 310 of which were used to transcribe the Draft up to this point. Even if the number were “320” rather than “310” and the transcription had continued into the next notebook for a few pages, the estimated 529 pages of Fair Copy (based on the total number of 1818 pages) minus 310 pages (or 320) already used, meant that there would be 219 (or 209) pages yet to transcribe, an amount that could have been accommodated in the five remaining notebooks (#'s 7–11), even if all of them were 48-page notebooks: 5 notebooks x 48 pages = 240 pages.

A final word on PBS's involvement in the Fair Copy: because he recorded most of the numbers discussed above and made most of the calculations, it may look like he was involved in transcribing the Draft into the Fair Copy at these points. However, all other evidence suggests the contrary: PBS would not have wanted his hand to be in a Fair Copy that was to be kept anonymous; and the kinds of embellishments that PBS introduced into MWS's text when he did fair copy the Draft at the end of Notebook C2 are not present in the 1818 text around the places where PBS made the computations. Consequently, it is more likely that the PBS numbers are there because MWS asked him to make the computations for her as she fair copied her Draft in April/May 1817.

The computations that MWS and PBS performed in the margins of the Notebooks A and B indicate what numbers can do (and reveal). Other numbers (e.g., the very exact transcribing pattern of 19 lines on one side of a Fair-Copy leaf and 14 lines on the other, yielding an average of 285 words per leaf—see transcription page 649), together with other evidence, lead to the conclusion that there were eleven Fair-Copy Notebooks. And the average of 285 words on each Fair-Copy leaf permitted accurate estimates of what was written on now missing pages from Fair-Copy Notebooks C1 and C2. In short, much of what is missing from The Frankenstein Notebooks can be reconstructed from available evidence.

In other places, MWS used a different form of pagination (citing earlier pagination) to leave herself a trail through the convoluted Insert sections “X” and “Y” (see pages 314–341). She also left a trail of numbers “1” through “5” in Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 10, pages 416–441, revealing the sequence of revisions that she made to her Draft between 10 and 17 April 1817. Finally, the accident of MWS writing on a slip of paper on the verso of which was a reconstructible postmark of 9 April 1817 sheds a great deal of light on the makeup of The Frankenstein Notebooks.35

The specific and important date of 9 April 1817 calls to mind an important moment in the text of Frankenstein, when Victor related his story to the magistrate “briefly, but with firmness and precision, marking the dates with accuracy” (see transcription page 577 in this edition). As is so often the case, what happens inside the text reflects what happens outside or with the text; that is, MWS herself in The Frankenstein Notebooks marked the dates with precision, and the alterations she made in the dates (together with other clues) reveal that she was very concerned with the chronology in her novel. Even though Walton's letters are dated with the decade of the eighteenth century missing, MWS has given enough information for us to determine three important points about the chronology: that the novel begins with Walton's letter dated 11 December 17[96] (which is, or is very close to, the day on which MWS imagined she was conceived);36 that Walton's tale takes the gestation period of 276 days in the telling; and that the novel ends with Walton's last letter of 12 September 17[97], thirteen days after MWS was born and two days after her mother died. The clues to this reading of the chronology have long been available in the printed texts of 1818 and 1831—what the Notebooks supply is graphic evidence that MWS, like Victor, was carefully “marking the dates with accuracy.”

A perpetual calendar gives more than enough evidence to establish a chronology for all the plots in Frankenstein (although there is one major inconsistency). Walton leaves a clue in the outside frame when he remarks that he first saw the monster on “Monday (July 31st)” in the year “17—” (see Walton's Letter IV on transcription page 5); among the years in the eighteenth century when 31 July fell on a Monday is 1797, a year that is confirmed by a number of facts, one of which (as Mellor has remarked) is that the monster read a copy of Volney's Ruins of Empire, which was not published until 1791, thereby eliminating all other possible years in the 1700s when 31 July fell on a Monday. MWS left a second clue in Alphonse's letters to Victor in which it was announced that Victor's brother William had been murdered by the monster on “Thursday (May 7th),” the reading in 1818. A glance at pages 154–155 in this edition will show that MWS approached this date with considerable care: she first wrote “May 26” (which would have been the year 1796) and then immediately canceled “26” and replaced it with “28th”, thereby indicating that she wished to get the year right (there would be little reason else for the two-day change). Eventually, in the missing Fair Copy or in proofs, the date was changed to “May 7th”, a date still consistent (exactly three weeks earlier) with the year that MWS had in mind, apparently the year 1795 (when the 28th and the 7th fell on Thursdays). I could invoke Volney again to establish the decade as the 1790s, but I am reluctant to use that means because some critics have raised questions about MWS quoting from not only Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) but also such poems as Wordsworth's “Tintern Abbey” (1798) and PBS's Alastor (1816). That kind of anachronism, however, is not at all unusual in fiction, when a narrative that is set in the past might contain a quotation from or allusion to a later poem. The monster reading Volney is quite a different thing indeed, and an anachronism there would have been a serious fault. But MWS was too careful for that fault, and the proof that the setting of Frankenstein is in the last decade of the eighteenth century is revealed in a manuscript change that shows again the care with which both MWS and PBS attempted to address this issue. See transcription page 459, lines 4–5, in this edition for the 1818 text where Victor remarks that he was in Oxford “more than a century and a half” after Charles I collected his forces there—since that year was 1642, then Victor must have been in Oxford between 17[93] and 17[99], and other evidence in the internal chronology would establish that Victor and Clerval visited Oxford in 17[96]. That both MWS and PBS had the 1790s in mind is further revealed by their alterations to Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 11, page 111: MWS first wrote “above a century before” and then revised it to “two centuries before”; then PBS more precisely altered the phrase to “century & a half before,” thereby designating the last decade of the eighteenth century for the temporal setting of Frankenstein, a decade that had personal and political events that MWS embedded in her narrative.37

That MWS may have created her own private chronology of events in Frankenstein is further evidenced by these Draft and Fair-Copy Notebooks. See, e.g., transcription pages 15 (lines 31–32), 23 (line 13), 127 (line 25), and 537 (lines 30–31), where crucial ages and dates are altered or omitted in order to accommodate some sequence of events that had already been or was being established. In other places, changes were made not in Draft or Fair Copy but between the earlier state(s) and the first edition, as a glance at the parallel text of 1818 will reveal: see, e.g., transcription pages 153 (line 6) and 159 (line 24) for someone altering the date of Alphonse Frankenstein's letter from 2 June in Draft to 12 May in 1818.38 Sometimes the Fair Copy is involved in this—e.g., MWS dated one of Elizabeth's letters 18 February in Draft, altered it there to 18 May, introduced the date of April in the Fair Copy only to cancel it and settle on 18 May, which became the date in 1818 (see transcription pages 537 and 647). It is clear something was going on with these changes: there may have been not only a chronology but also, and simultaneously, a personal numerology dictating some of the choices. Most of the evidence suggests that it was MWS rather than PBS who was making the choices, but there are times when PBS, as collaborator, was respecting what appears to have been MWS's plan.

A central issue in The Frankenstein Notebooks is the evidence they provide for the degree of collaboration between MWS and PBS in the making of the novel. The nature of PBS's involvement has already been suggested in various remarks above, the evidence of that involvement awaits the reader in the texts of this edition, and the specifics of his involvement are offered in the "Frankenstein Chronology;" that follows this Introduction. But a few general remarks are appropriate at this point in order to give the reader an overview of what might be called the conception, gestation, quickening, lightening, and birth of MWS's monster. MWS herself encouraged the use of such a metaphor by which to understand her Frankenstein: in her 1831 Introduction (pages v, xii) she described how she did “dilate upon, so very hideous an idea,” and she called her novel not only “the offspring of happy days” but also a “hideous progeny” that she bade to “go forth and prosper” in the literary world. If, as this edition will make evident, MWS is the creative genius by which this novel was conceived and developed, we can call PBS an able midwife who helped his wife bring her monster to life. His “hand” is in evidence in each of the extant Frankenstein Notebooks, and the "Frankenstein Chronology; below demonstrates his involvement in the printing, publishing, and reviewing of the novel. That PBS collaborated on this novel should come as no surprise to anyone, because the Shelleys left a long history of their shared activities as creative artists. They transcribed and they edited each other's works; they encouraged each other to undertake or to modify major works; and they even collaborated in the publication of History of a Six Weeks' Tour at a time when Frankenstein was being readied for the press. It is hoped that this edition will encourage someone to undertake a major study of this collaboration, which extended from the sublime (MWS's Frankenstein; or PBS's later response to this “Modern Prometheus” in his Prometheus Unbound) to the ridiculous (the two Shelleys engaged in a rhyming game in one of their pocket books, MWS providing the rhyming words and PBS filling out each line).39

A reading of the evidence in these Frankenstein Notebooks should make clear that PBS's contributions to Frankenstein were no more than what most publishers' editors have provided new (or old) authors or, in fact, what colleagues have provided to each other after reading each other's works in progress.40 What MWS actually thought of PBS's involvement in her text we will never know, no matter what methodology or facts we bring to this issue. I personally prefer to give both of them the benefit of the doubt and conjecture that (1) PBS suggested and made alterations to the text of Frankenstein for the purpose of improving an already excellent narrative (in [?February 1818] he wrote a review that judged the published novel “one of the most original and complete productions of the day”) and that (2) MWS accepted the suggestions and alterations that she agreed with. What this edition of The Frankenstein Notebooks provides for the first time is the available evidence by which to trace MWS's developing artistry as she drafted and then fair copied her novel. Even though she grew up in a family of writers and publishers (her father and step-mother ran the Juvenile Library and published books for children), this was her first experience writing and preparing a major work for publication. The fact that PBS had greater experience, having seen two of his own novels through the press as well as a number of volumes of poetry, might have given him a professional edge in their relationship, but that experience did not make PBS into a better novelist (his own novels, written before he was 20 years old, have little merit).

One of the purposes of this edition is to provide a solid and accurate foundation for future scholarship on MWS and on Frankenstein, in effect to counteract the increasing number of misinformed and misleading judgments about the novel, about the manuscripts, and about the Shelleys' collaboration. James Rieger (1974) was the first to mislead when, in his otherwise excellent edition, he provocatively phrased and overstated PBS's involvement with the text and subordinated MWS to her husband. According to Rieger, PBS “oversaw his wife's manuscript at every stage,” corrected “her frequent grammatical solecisms, her spelling, and her awkward phrasing,” and assisted to such a degree “at every point in the book's manufacture … that one hardly knows whether to regard him as editor or minor collaborator” (page xviii). Although these judgments reflect a great deal of truth (and collaboration merely means to “work with” not to “equally divide the labor”), their repetition in his “Note on the Text” that then challengingly asked “Do we or do we not owe [PBS] a measure of ‘final authority'?” (page xliv) seemed to devalue MWS's accomplishments.

More damaging to future scholarship was Rieger's misleading statement that “it was Shelley's idea that Frankenstein journey to England for the purpose of creating a female Monster” (page xviii). This judgment has misled many who without benefit of the manuscript have attempted to understand the contribution of PBS, who did in fact write in the margin that “I think the journey to England ought to be Victor's proposal” (see pages 424–425 in this edition). But PBS wrote this only after MWS had plotted the journey for the creating of the female and only because MWS originally had the idea of the trip drop casually from Victor's father, who suggested that his son take a two-year holiday while accompanying Clerval to England. All PBS did here was to ask MWS to change the source of the original idea for the trip, to have Victor “lead his father to this [idea of a journey] in the conversations” (PBS's marginal note to MWS) so that Victor would appear to be more in control of his destiny. When PBS wrote this note, the monster had already asked for a mate, Victor had already promised to create one, and Victor had “resolved to fulfil [his] promise while abroard [sic]” (see pages 398–399, 410–411, and 440–441 in this edition). In fact, PBS probably did not make his marginal suggestion until after MWS had written the later chapters in which Victor left Clerval behind in Edinburgh and journeyed on alone in order to create the mate; in any event (as most likely would be evidenced by the missing ur-text), PBS was not responsible for Victor's idea of creating a mate, and Rieger's unfortunate phrasing has misled a number of critics (see especially “Huet” below).

After Rieger's edition came E. B. Murray's “Shelley's Contribution to Mary's Frankenstein” (1978), which was based on some but not all of the Abinger Frankenstein manuscripts (Dep. c. 534/1–2 only), leading Murray to conclude misleadingly that PBS was responsible for a “thousand or so” words in Frankenstein—whereas he actually wrote and was responsible for more than 4000 words. Like Rieger, Murray judged many of these alterations to be minor: they “merely rewrite what Mary had written in order to provide a context for a given correction or addition,” or they offered “dictional, grammatical, or syntactical variations.” Murray added, however, that many changes were “creative additions which … help to shape atmosphere, incident, character, reader-response, and, consequently, aid in establishing the moral and aesthetic tone of the novel” (page 51). Then, to illustrate the way that PBS fair copied the Draft, Murray provided representative passages in parallel texts, keying the manuscripts not to 1818 but confusingly to 1831 Joseph.

Comparing Murray's transcriptions to the evidence in this edition will show that Murray, like all others who have ventured into The Frankenstein Notebooks, failed at times to distinguish PBS's hand from that of MWS. In those cases where I myself am unsure, I have employed footnotes to query the attribution that the fonts seem to prescribe, thereby alerting the reader to the problem of attribution. Any count of PBS words in the Notebooks has to be factored through these queries: that is, should only half of all the words queried as either “?PBS” or “?MWS” be counted as PBS's? or should 75% of those queried “?PBS” be counted and only 25% of those queried “?MWS”? There are other circumstances that make any attempt at an exact count foolhardy. Easiest to count, of course, are the words that PBS added to the Draft, which were then retained in the Fair Copy and printed in 1818. Also easy to count are those words that PBS was responsible for when he transcribed the final section of the Draft into the Fair Copy. Still, each of these cases involves two different kinds of words: those that are totally new, having been added to the text; and those that are merely modifications of MWS's words, some of which are merely relative pronouns: see, e.g., transcription page 455 where PBS altered MWS's “source of amusement” to “source of observation & amusement” and where he altered MWS's “that” to “which” (an alteration that frequently punctuates these Notebooks). Did PBS add two or three words to this page (that is, should we count “which”)? Whose word is it if PBS transformed MWS's “men” into “fishermen” (see pages 478–479 in this edition)? Even more difficult in the counting are those places where PBS transformed one MWS word into two PBS words, changed an MWS tense, corrected an MWS spelling, canceled an MWS word without making any substitution, or revised an MWS passage only to have MWS learn from it and rephrase not her old text but the new PBS text. Establishing a final and exact count for the PBS words in 1818 is impossible, although above I have hazarded a number in excess of 4000.

After Rieger and Murray came Anne K. Mellor's Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters (1988), which offered the most extensive analysis of the Shelleys' collaboration to date. Mellor's study had the benefit of being a balanced one, for it stressed that PBS's alterations to MWS's novel “both improved and damaged the text and … must be analyzed with care.”41 On balance, however, although Mellor correctly judged that PBS was “responsible for much of the most inflated rhetoric in the text,” her Appendix on “Percy Shelley's Revisions of the Manuscript of Frankenstein” (pages 219–224) seems to credit PBS for many improvements to the text. Consider the topic sentences that Mellor used to introduce a series of paragraphs: “On several occasions, Percy clarified the text” by eliminating such things as a “vague comment” here or a “sloppy” phrase there; “Percy frequently substituted more precise technical terms for Mary's cruder ones”; “Some of Percy's revisions markedly improved the coherence and narrative continuity of the text”; “Percy occasionally improved Mary's paragraph transitions”; “Percy several times enriched the thematic resonance of the text”; “Percy further developed the complexity of the monster's character in several revisions”; and “Percy stressed Victor Frankenstein's unique responsibility for his creature.” Anyone objecting that Mellor gave too much credit to PBS in these pages is reminded to check all of her readings of PBS's hand against the evidence in this edition and also to consider that MWS most likely would have made some or many of the PBS improvements if she alone had been responsible for correcting the Draft and transcribing it in the Fair Copy.

If Mellor inadvertently gave more credit to PBS than either Rieger or Murray, then Marie-Helene Huet has outdone them all in her Monstrous Imagination (1993), which misread the evidence in Rieger and in Murray and possibly in Mellor and which changed PBS from collaborator to co-author. Had Huet consulted the manuscripts before publishing her book, she would not have rashly claimed that PBS was responsible for the “contrast between Victor and Elizabeth and the suggestion that Victor should create a female” (page 154). Both judgments are false, for MWS had established that contrast (what she and not PBS had called “a great dissimilitude”—see pages 10–11 in this edition) before PBS made any alterations, and it was MWS not PBS who introduced Victor's decision to create a female (see above on “Rieger,” who apparently misled Huet). Huet compounded a misreading of evidence when she claimed that PBS wrote the monster's “final words … ‘I shall collect my funeral pile …'”—a glance at pages 640–641 in this edition will confirm that MWS wrote the sentence, and pages 769 and 816 will demonstrate the small alterations that PBS made to the original sentence when he fair copied it in May 1817. PBS was not the one who “wrote the dramatic denouement on the sea of ice,” and it was patently unfair to claim that “it is impossible to assign with absolute certainty either to Percy or to Mary Shelley complete creative responsibility for any part of the novel” (pages 156, 155). The words “absolute” and “certainty” and “complete” make such a statement difficult to refute, but this edition will supply enough evidence to indicate the advisory role that PBS had in the making of MWS's monster.

Huet had many important things to say, and it is unfortunate that she based much of her analysis on incorrect readings of the evidence. One good thing, however, that comes from her mistakes, is a reminder of just how important a manuscript is to literary analysis. This facsimile edition, of course, is both a substitute and not a substitute for the original: future scholarly work on Frankenstein might begin with these photofacsimiles, but some textual scholars may need to consult the disassembled Notebooks currently on deposit at the Bodleian Library. In some cases, however, this photofacsimile edition may be more useful to scholarship than the now disbound Notebooks, because it distills and arranges some otherwise difficult-to-interpret evidence. The mere type facsimiles may keep future scholars from misreading words or hands or from conjecturing in such a way as to misrepresent the composition of these Notebooks. The very complexity of the Notebooks, for example, has partly misled David Ketterer in his recent articles on the Frankenstein manuscripts. Ketterer has done good work in his “Readings” (1995), “Draft” (1996), and “Insert” (forthcoming, 1997)—see “Short Titles” for the full references—but his articles would have been more soundly based had they waited upon the publication of this edition. Not that my reading of the evidence is the only way, but this edition would have made it easier for him to consider, cite, and illustrate the evidence for his arguments—as it is, his use of 1818 Rieger as a guide makes some of his arguments difficult to follow. I have addressed some of his misreadings in the Short Titles, in the Introduction, and in the "Frankenstein Chronology;" but I acknowledge here that my work is the better because of the hours that Ketterer and I have debated the evidence. Such a scholarly debate, whether conducted in public or in private (in an Oxford pub or in telephone calls between Newark, Delaware, and Montreal), can improve scholarship, and it is my hope that the debate that this edition will occasion will increase our understanding of MWS's Frankenstein.

At press time in August 1996, I am benefiting by reading two forthcoming essays, both of which have been kindly provided me in page proofs: Ketterer's “Insert” and Johanna M. Smith's “Texts of Frankenstein.” In both cases I have reciprocated with suggested “alterations” to these proofs that reflect my working with The Frankenstein Notebooks for the past two years. For example, while it is true that sometimes only “tentative conclusions” can be drawn from the Abinger manuscripts, there is no reason to hypothesize any intervening text between what I have denominated the Draft and the Fair Copy. In fact, there is unequivocal evidence to prove that MWS transcribed directly from the Draft (which is in an “intermediate” state) to the Fair Copy (compare the texts as arranged in parallel columns in Appendix A; see the false starts in the Fair Copy that are apparently caused by the handwriting in the Draft; and, finally, recall that the margins of the Draft were used in the very process of the transcription to record and to calculate the pages in the Fair Copy). In the absence of any evidence to suggest a draft intervening between Draft and Fair Copy, there is all the more reason to conclude that PBS's transcriptions at the end of the Fair Copy were his alone. The rhetorical flourishes in these concluding Fair-Copy pages, where PBS embellished MWS's Draft, not only give evidence that these words were his but also suggest that MWS was not reading aloud from the Draft with PBS transcribing her words. In this regard, there is no evidence in any of these notebooks that either of the Shelleys wrote what the other dictated.

How and when the two Shelleys exchanged the Notebooks we will never know for certain, but there is ample pen and ink evidence to show that PBS read sections of the text at least twice—almost all of the Draft pages reveal PBS's hand, and many of the pages suggest that he brought different pens and inks to his editing. He most likely read each chapter (or groups thereof) as MWS wrote them, and then appears to have read all of Notebooks A and B at one final sitting, probably in April when MWS was correcting them. We know, e.g., that PBS read Draft: Vol. II, Ch. 10 at least twice: once (possibly in January 1817) he wrote in the margin to suggest that it should be “Victor's proposal” to journey to England; and then later (the postmark and other evidence proving that it was between 9 and 17 April) he read and corrected the pages that MWS rewrote.

There are times in the manuscript when you can actually “see” MWS and PBS at work on the Notebooks at the same time, possibly sitting side by side and using the same pen and ink to draft the novel and at the same time to enter corrections. We know from Sophia Stacey that in Florence PBS “at night has a little table with pen and ink, she [MWS] the same” (quoted in Angeli, page 97)—apparently, these were portable writing desks that allowed the two Shelleys to work near each other in their room at night. Evidence of that closeness is on folio 3 verso of Notebook A, the last of the six rough-draft insert pages that MWS used to introduce more information on Victor's scientific interests (see pages 34–35 in this edition). MWS wrote the page in very distinctive pale gray ink (quite different from the black ink she later used to add “the science of” in line 18). Because PBS seems to have been the one to have written “natural philosophy” in the same distinctive pale gray ink and because he certainly made emendations in the darker ink, there is a very considerable probability that the two Shelleys twice worked together on this page between 27 October and 4 November 1816 (see Frankenstein Chronology for these dates).

Much more research remains to be done on the collaboration between the two Shelleys, especially now that the pages revealing PBS's hand in Frankenstein are available in photofacsimile. We all owe a great debt to Bruce Barker-Benfield who established in December 1993 through his Quiring Charts that all of the now separated leaves from the Draft and Fair Copy were once part of bound notebooks, a circumstance that not only tells us a great deal about the composition of the novel but also more about the collaboration between the two Shelleys. As these notebooks were passed back and forth between MWS and PBS, so also were ideas and phrases that went into the making of Frankenstein. We know, for example, that MWS took wholesale a PBS Diary entry and incorporated it into her novel (see Frankenstein Chronology; for 23 June 1816), but James P. Carson has reminded us that collaboration goes both ways: PBS's significant addition about the “republican institutions of our country” (Victor here speaking about Switzerland—see pages 126–129 in this edition), which could not have been drafted until at least November 1816 (see Frankenstein Chronology;), seems to echo a passage that MWS apparently wrote in a letter dated 1 June 1816. The nature of the echo, however, is complicated by MWS having rewritten this now missing letter when she prepared her Geneva letters for publication in the Shelleys' collaborative History of a Six Weeks' Tour (published November 1817). Related to this conundrum about who echoes whom are PBS's and Godwin's later admissions in 1818 that MWS would be the perfect person to write about the “calumniated Republicans” in a book on the Commonwealth in British History, a subject in which PBS confessed that he was “little skilled” (see PBS Letters, II, 21 and n.).

It should be clear that any analysis of these complicated intertextualities demands a study of the facts of just who wrote what when, as well as an understanding that some of the facts are beyond discovery or resist reconstruction.42 Also required is an understanding of what Jack Stillinger has described as “Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius.” Moreover, a study of this particular kind of mutual influence demands facing the issue of what Carson (page 449) called multiple ventriloquisms (MWS writing as if she were Walton or Victor or the monster; and even PBS writing as if he were MWS writing as if she were Victor recording Elizabeth's letter). Even within the text of the novel (which so often reflects what happens outside the text), Victor actually corrected Walton's narratives about Victor and the monster and the De Laceys; consequently, we are reading Victor writing as if he were Walton writing about Victor. Victor himself, then, was a collaborator and an editor: he “corrected and augmented” Walton's text because he “would not that a mutilated one should go down to posterity”—an ideal that any writer or editor hopes to serve!43

The first group of short titles below provide a convenient shorthand by which to distinguish various texts and editions of Frankenstein from each other, and all of the titles survey the scholarship that has contributed to this edition. For many other important books and articles on Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and her other works, consult the bibliographies published separately (e.g., Lyles), annually (e.g., in the Keats-Shelley Journal), or electronically (e.g., the MLA International Bibliography on CD-ROM). For reviews of Frankenstein published between 1818 and 1832, see Frankenstein Chronology.

1816–17 Draft of Frankenstein (in 2 volumes): as it survives in Notebooks A and B in Bodleian Dep. c. 477/1 and c. 534/1; and/or as edited in 1816–17 Robinson.
1816–17 Robinson Charles E. Robinson. The Frankenstein Notebooks: A Facsimile Edition of Mary Shelley's Manuscript Novel, 1816–17 (with alterations in the hand of Percy Bysshe Shelley) as it survives in Draft and Fair Copy deposited by Lord Abinger in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Dep. c. 477/1 and Dep. c. 534/1–2). Parts One and Two. (Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics, Volume IX.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996.
1817 Fair Copy of Frankenstein (in 3 volumes): as it survives in Notebooks C1 and C2 in Bodleian Dep. c. 534/2; and/or as edited in 1816–17 Robinson.
1818 Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. 3 vols. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818.
1818 Butler Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text. Ed. Marilyn Butler. London: William Pickering, 1993. [Reprinted in paper as one of “The World's Classics,” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Both the original and the reprint have an appendix in which Butler prints “The Third Edition (1831): Substantive Changes” together with “Collation of the Texts of 1818 and 1831.”]
1818 Crook Mary Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Ed. Nora Crook. (Volume 1 of The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley, 8 vols., ed. Nora Crook, with an Introduction by Betty T. Bennett.) London: William Pickering, 1996. [Crook provides four valuable textual notes: “Endnotes: Textual Variants” (pages 182–227), in which she prints MWS's autograph corrections in 1818 Thomas and the substantive variants in 1823 and 1831; “A Note on Spelling Variants in 1818, 1823 and 1831” (page 228); “Unauthorized Variants” (page 229), in which she indicates that 1831 Joseph introduced six textual errors and that then 1818 Macdonald incorrectly listed these six errors as 1831 variants of the 1818 text; and “Silent Corrections” (pages 230–231).]
1818 Hunter Mary Shelley. Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Contexts, Nineteenth-Century Responses, Modern Criticism. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. (A Norton Critical Edition.) New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996. [Among the other texts that Hunter reprints are: “The Composition of Frankenstein” from 1831 Joseph; Mellor, “Text”; PBS's 1832 Athenæum review of Frankenstein; and partial texts of the 1818 reviews in Quarterly Review, Edinburgh Magazine (confused with Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine and the review misattributed to Scott), and Gentleman's Magazine—and of the 1824 review in Knight's Quarterly.]
1818 Macdonald Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (The 1818 version). Ed. D. L. Macdonald & Kathleen Scherf. (Broadview Literary Texts.) Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1994. [Among the other texts that Macdonald and Scherf reprint are: passages from the works by Volney, Goethe, Plutarch, and Milton that the monster read; and partial texts of the 1818 reviews of Frankenstein in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Edinburgh Magazine, and Quarterly Review. Omissions in Macdonald and Scherf's “Appendix F: Substantive Variants in the 1831 Edition” (pages 317–359) are noted by Ketterer, “Readings,” page 34; and “unauthorized variants” in this appendix (apparently traceable to errors in 1831 Joseph) are listed in 1818 Crook, page 229.]
1818 Moser Mary Shelley. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The 1818 Text in three volumes. Illustrated by Barry Moser and with essays by Ruth Mortimer, Emily Sunstein, Joyce Carol Oates, and William St. Clair. West Hatfield: Pennyroyal, 1983. [Reprinted in paper, but without the Mortimer, Sunstein, and St. Clair essays, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.]
1818 Rieger Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text (with variant readings, an Introduction, and Notes). Ed. James Rieger. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (Phoenix Edition), 1982. [This important edition (initially published in the Library of Literature, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1974) was the first to print a “Collation of the Texts of 1818 and 1831” and the first to record the autograph variants in 1818 Thomas (which Rieger incorporated into the 1818 text). The 1974 edition was first reprinted (with different pagination and lineation) by New York: Pocket Books, 1976. The 1982 Chicago reprint, however, is to be preferred because it corrects “minor errors in the introduction and apparatus” and lists “some additional 1818/1831 variants at the end of the volume”—the “Collation” is printed on pages 230–259 and (288).]
1818 Thomas The copy of the first edition of 1818 (Pierpont Morgan Library, PML 16799) that MWS corrected, annotated, and presented to Mrs. Thomas in Genoa in [?July] 1823.
1818 Wolf-1 The Annotated Frankenstein. (Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Introduction and Notes by Leonard Wolf.) With Maps, Drawings, and Photographs. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc./Publishers, 1977. [This edition prints a photofacsimiie of 1818, but the copy chosen for microfilming (together with a flawed photo-offset process) led to a number of errors in the text, most resulting from severe cropping when the pages were rearranged. For the fourteen places where 1818 Wolf-1 misrepresents the 1818 text and/or introduces new errors, see the footnotes on transcription pages 2, 79, 105, 163, 253, 449, 479, 519, 587 (and 715), 653 (and 757) in 1816–17 Robinson.]
1818 Wolf-2 The Essential Frankenstein. Written and Edited by Leonard Wolf. Including the Complete Novel by Mary Shelley. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. (A Plume Book), 1993. [This edition, a resetting of the text of the 1818 photofacsimile in 1818 Wolf-1, also carries over the errors from that earlier edition.]
1823 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. A New Edition. 2 vols. London: G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1823. [A photofacsimile of this edition was published by Oxford: Woodstock Books, 1993.]
[1826] [Most likely a Henry Colburn re-issue of remaining copies of 1823 without even a new title page.]
1831 Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. By the Author of The Last Man, Perkin Warbeck, &c. &c. Revised, Corrected, and Illustrated with a New Introduction, by the Author. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley (Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh; and Cumming, Dublin), 1831. [The title page is preceded by an engraved title page: Mary W. Shelley. Frankenstein. London: Colburn and Bentley, 1831. A photofacsimile of this engraved title page may be seen in 1818 Crook, page 173.]
1831 Hindle Mary Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Ed. Maurice Hindle. London: Penguin Books, 1992. [This hybrid edition, an expansion of Hindle's Penguin edition of 1985, prints 1831 but divides it by means of the volumes and chapters of 1818; it also includes “Appendix A: Select Collation of the Texts of 1831 and 1818,” in which Hindle also prints “a selection of significant revisions made by Percy Shelley at MS stage, which Mary Shelley adopted,” but the reader is reminded that not all of Hindle's identifications of PBS's hand are correct.]
1831 Joseph Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Ed. M. K. Joseph. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969. [Reprinted in paper as one of “The World's Classics,” London: Oxford University Press, 1980. Joseph in an appendix was one of the first to address “The Composition ofFrankenstein.” See 1818 Crook above for Joseph introducing errors into the 1831 text.]
1831 Smith Mary Shelley. Frankenstein: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Ed. Johanna M. Smith. (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.) Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1992.
Angeli Helen Rossetti Angeli. Shelley and His Friends in Italy. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1911.
Barker-Benfield, Guitar B. C. Barker-Benfield. Shelley's Guitar: An exhibition of manuscripts, first editions and relics, to mark the Bicentenary of the birth of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792/1992. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1992.
Barker-Benfield, “Visits” Bruce Barker-Benfield. “Shelley's Bodleian Visits,” The Bodleian Library Record 12 (1987): 381–399.
Bentley Archives “The Archives of Richard Bentley & Son 1829–1898”: 116 reels of microfilm (55 from the British Library; 57 from University of Illinois Library; 4 from UCLA Library) accompanied by Index to the archives of Richard Bentley & Son 1829–1898, compiled by Alison Ingram. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey; Teaneck, N.J.: Somerset House, 1977.
Bentley List A List of the Principal Publications Issued from New Burlington Street during the Year 1831. London: Richard Bentley and Son, November, 1893.
Burrows John F. Burrows. “Noisy Signals? or Signals in the Noise?” ACH-ALLC Conference Abstracts, pages S3.i-iii. [These three pages, which offer a summary of a paper delivered in June 1993 at Georgetown University and which were published in the Conference Proceedings of the [US] Association for Computers and the Humanities and the [UK] Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, have not been published in an expanded form. For related texts by Burrows, none of which does quite the same thing with MWS, see his “Not Unless You Ask Nicely: The Interpretative Nexus Between Analysis and Information,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 7 (1992): 91–109; and “Computers and the Study of Literature,” in Computers and Written Texts, ed. Christopher S. Butler (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), pages 167–204.]
Byron L&J Byron's Letters and Journals. Ed. Leslie A. Marchand. 12 vols. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973–1982. Supplementary Volume: Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1994.
Byron Works Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works. Ed. Jerome J. McGann. 7 vols. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1980–1993.
Carson James P. Carson. “Bringing the Author Forward: Frankenstein Through Mary Shelley's Letters,” Criticism 30 (1988): 431–453.
Clairmont Correspondence The Clairmont Correspondence: Letters of Claire Clairmont, Charles Clairmont, and Fanny Imlay Godwin. Ed. Marion Kingston Stocking. 2 vols. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Clairmont Journals The Journals of Claire Clairmont. Ed. Marion Kingston Stocking, with the assistance of David Mackensie Stocking. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968.
Clubbe, “Evidence” John Clubbe. “Mary Shelley as Autobiographer: The Evidence of the 1831 Introduction to Frankenstein,” The Wordsworth Circle 12 (1981): 102–106.
Clubbe, “Summer” John Clubbe. “The Tempest-toss'd Summer of 1816: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,” The Byron Journal 19 (1991): 26–40.
Crouch Laura E. Crouch. “Davy's A Discourse, Introductory to A Course of Lectures on Chemistry:A Possible Scientific Source of Frankenstein,” Keats-Shelley Journal 27 (1978): 35–44.
Duyfhuizen Bernard Duyfhuizen. “Periphrastic Naming in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,” Studies in the Novel 27 (1995): 477–492.
Erkelenz The Geneva Notebook of Percy Bysshe Shelley: Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. e. 16 and MS. Shelley adds. c. 4, Folios 63, 65, 71, and 72. Ed. Michael Erkelenz. (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume XI.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992.
Florescu Radu Florescu. In Search of Frankenstein. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1975.
Forry Steven Earl Forry. Hideous Progenies: Dramatizations of Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to the Present. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
Gisborne & Williams Maria Gisborne & Edward E. Williams, Shelley's Friends: Their Journals and Letters. Ed. Frederick L. Jones. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951.
Glut Donald F. Glut. The Frankenstein Catalog: Being a Comprehensive Listing of Novels, Translations, Adaptations, Stories, Critical Works, Popular Articles, Series, Fumetti, Verse, Stage Plays, Films, Cartoons, Puppetry, Radio & Television Programs, Comics, Satire & Humor, Spoken & Musical Recordings, Tapes, and Sheet Music Featuring Frankenstein's Monster and/or Descended from Mary Shelley's Novel. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1984.
Godwin Diaries Dep. e. 196–227, Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Greetham D. C. Greetham. Textual Scholarship: An Introduction. (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Volume 1417.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1994.
Grove Diaries The Grove Dairies: The Rise and Fall of an English Family 1809–1925. Ed. Desmond Hawkins. Stanbridge, Wimborne, Dorset: The Dovecote Press (with the University of Delaware Press), 1995.
Grylls R. Glynn Grylls. Mary Shelley: A Biography. London: Oxford University Press, 1938. [Appendix E reprints short extracts from the 1818 reviews of Frankenstein in Quarterly Review, Edinburgh Magazine, and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (pages 315–321).]
Hansard The Parliamentary Debates … New Series … Vol X. Comprising the Period from the Third Day of February, to the Twenty-Ninth Day of March, 1824. London: Printed by T. C. Hansard, 1824.
Hawkins Desmond Hawkins. Shelley's First Love. London: Kyle Cathie/Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1992.
Huet Marie-Hélène Huet. Monstrous Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Hunt Correspondence The Correspondence of Leigh Hunt. Edited by His Eldest Son. 2 vols. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1862.
Ketterer, Creation David Ketterer. Frankenstein's Creation: The Book, The Monster, and Human Reality. (ELS Monograph Series No. 16.) University of Victoria: English Literary Studies, 1979.
Ketterer, “Draft” David Ketterer. “(De)Composing Frankenstein: The Import of Altered Character Names in the Last Draft,” Studies in Bibliography 49 (1996): 232–276. [Some of the errors in this article are corrected in Ketterer's forthcoming “Insert.”]
Ketterer, “Insert” David Ketterer. Page proofs of “Frankenstein's ‘Conversion' from Natural Magic to Modern Science—and a Shifted (and Converted) Last Draft Insert”—to be published in Science-Fiction Studies 23 (March 1997): 1–16. [In this article Ketterer will correct some of his earlier mistakes in “Readings” and in “Draft”; in July and August 1996, he and I had lengthy conversations about some of his judgments in these page proofs; at my press time, I expect that most of these judgments will be in accord with the evidence in 1816–17 Robinson.]
Ketterer, “Name” David Ketterer. “Frankenstein: The Source of a Name?” Science-Fiction Studies 22 (1995): 455–456.
Ketterer, “Readings” David Ketterer. “The Corrected Frankenstein: Twelve Preferred Readings in the Last Draft,” English Language Notes 33, i (September 1995): 23–35. [Each of these emendations is addressed by footnotes in 1816–17 Robinson—the six that Robinson judges wrong or unnecessary are on transcription pages 223, 329, 379, 381, 469, and 535; Ketterer himself in “Insert” recants on one of these emendations. For other references to Ketterer's emendations, see the footnotes on transcription pages 105, 120, 451, 537, 605, 633, 637, 735, and 757 in 1816–17 Robinson.]
LaValley Albert J. LaValley. “The Stage and Film Children ofFrankenstein: A Survey,” in The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley's Novel, ed. George Levine and U. C. Knoepflmacher (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979), pages 243–289.
Leader Zachary Leader. Revision and Romantic Authorship. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
Life of Shelley The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley As Comprised in The Life of Shelley by Thomas Jefferson Hogg; The Recollections of Shelley & Byron by Edward John Trelawny; Memoirs of Shelley by Thomas Love Peacock. Ed. Humbert Wolfe. 2 vols. London: J. M. Dent and Sons Limited.
Lyles W. H. Lyles. Mary Shelley: An Annotated Bibliography. (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Volume 22.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1975.
Macdonald, Polidori D. L. Macdonald. Poor Polidori: A Critical Biography of the Author of The Vampyre. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991.
Matthews G. M. Matthews, “Whose Little Footsteps? Three Shelley Pieces Re-Addressed,” in The Evidence of the Imagination: Studies of Interactions between Life and Art in English Romantic Literature, ed. Donald H. Reiman, Michael C. Jaye, and Betty T. Bennett, with the assistance of Doucet Devin Fischer and Ricki B. Herzfeld (New York: New York University Press, 1978), pages 236–263.
Medwin Thomas Medwin. The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley (“Revised Life”). With an Introduction and Commentary by H. Buxton Forman. London: Oxford University Press, 1913.
Mellor Anne K. Mellor. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. New York: Methuen, 1988. [Mellor treats of the collaboration between MWS and PBS in her third chapter, “My Hideous Progeny,” as well as in her appendix, “Percy Shelley's Revisions of the Manuscript of Frankenstein.”]
Mellor, “Text” Anne K. Mellor. “Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach,” in Approaches to Teaching Shelley's Frankenstein, ed. Stephen C. Behrendt (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1990), pages 31–37.
Murray, adds. c. 4 Miscellaneous Poetry, Prose and Translations from Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. c. 4, etc.: Including fair copies of “Misery.a fragment,” “Ode to Naples,” “To a faded violet,” “Letter on Richard Carlisle,” “Una Favola”; Drafts of “Speculations on Morals and Metaphysics,” “The Coliseum,” “On Vegetarianism”; Translations of Goethe's “Faust”; Along with Fifty Beta-radiograph Reproductions of Relevant Watermarks. Ed. E. B. Murray. (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume XXI.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995.
Murray, “Changes” E. B. Murray. “Changes in the 1823 Edition of Frankenstein,” The Library, 6th Series, 3 (1981): 320–327.
Murray, “Contribution” E. B. Murray. “Shelley's Contribution to Mary's Frankenstein,” Keats-Shelley Memorial Bulletin 29 (1978): 50–68.
Murray, d. 1 A Facsimile of Bodleian MS. Shelley d. 1, Including Drafts of Speculations on Morals and Metaphysics, A Defence of Poetry, Ode to Naples, The Witch of Atlas, Epipsychidion, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's The Fields of Fancy/Mathilda, together with minor poems, fragments, and prose writings. Ed. E. B. Murray. Parts One and Two. (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume IV.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988.
MWS Dramas Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Mythological Dramas: Proserpine and Midas, Bodleian MS. Shelley d. 2. Ed. Charles E. Robinson. [Together with Relation of the Death of the Family of the Cenci, Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. e. 13, ed. Betty T. Bennett.] (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume X.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992.
MWS History History of a Six Weeks' Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: with Letters Descriptive of a Sail round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni. London: T. Hookham, Jun., and C. and J. Ollier, 1817. [A photofacsimile of this edition was published by Oxford: Woodstock Books, 1989.]
MWS Journal The Journals of Mary Shelley. Ed. Paula R. Feldman and Diana Scott-Kilvert. 2 vols. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1987. [Reprinted in paper, with corrections, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.]
MWS Letters The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Ed. Betty T. Bennett. 3 vols. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–1988.
MWS Mathilda Mary Shelley. Matilda, Dramas, Reviews & Essays, Prefaces & Notes. Ed. Pamela Clemit. (Volume 2 of The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley, 8 vols., ed. Nora Crook, with an Introduction by Betty T. Bennett.) London: William Pickering, 1996. [I prefer the short title of “Mathilda” warranted by the manuscript.]
MWS “Mathilda” Drafts of MWS's “The Fields of Fancy” (Abinger Dep. d. 374/2) and “Mathilda” (Abinger Dep. d. 374/1), supplemented by insertions from Bodleian MS. d. 1 and Shelley adds. c. 5, Bodleian Library, Oxford.
MWS Reader The Mary Shelley Reader: containing Frankenstein, Mathilda, Tales and Stories, Essays and Reviews, and Letters. Ed. Betty T. Bennett and Charles E. Robinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. [The text of Frankenstein in this volume has some errors in punctuation because Robinson based the text on the photofacsimile of 1818 in 1818 Wolf-1 that he has since discovered to have been flawed.]
MWS Selected Letters Selected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Ed. Betty T. Bennett. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
MWS Tales Mary Shelley: Collected Tales and Stories, with Original Engravings. Ed. Charles E. Robinson. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976. [Reprinted in paper, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.]
MWS Travel Writing Mary Shelley. Travel Writing. Ed. Jeanne Moskal. (Volume 8 of The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley, 8 vols., ed. Nora Crook, with an Introduction by Betty T. Bennett.) London: William Pickering, 1996.
Nitchie Elizabeth Nitchie. Mary Shelley: Author of “Frankenstein.” New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953. [Appendix IV (pages 218–231) reprints Nitchie's South Atlantic Quarterly article, “The Stage History of Frankenstein.”]
OED Oxford English Dictionary.
Ollier [Edmund Ollier.] “A Literary Publisher,” Temple Bar 58 (1880): 243–252.
O'Neill The Defence of Poetry Fair Copies: A Facsimile of Bodleian MSS. Shelley e. 6 and adds. d. 8 including: A Defence of Poetry, A Facsimile of the Fair-Copy Transcript By Mary W. Shelley, with Corrections by Percy Bysshe Shelley (Bodleian MS. Shelley e. 6); and A Defence of Poetry, The Banquet Translated from Plato, Essay on Love, A Facsimile of the Fair-Copy Transcripts by Mary W. Shelley (Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. d. 8). Ed. Michael O'Neill. (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume XX.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1994.
Palacio Jean de Palacio. Mary Shelley dans son œuvre: Contribution aux études shelleyennes. Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1969.
Paul C. Kegan Paul. William Godwin: His Friends and Contemporaries. 2 vols. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1876.
PBS Alastor Percy Bysshe Shelley. Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude and Other Poems. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; and Carpenter and Son, 1816.
PBS Cenci Percy B. Shelley. The Cenci. A Tragedy, in Five Acts. Italy: Printed for C. and J. Ollier, London, 1819.
PBS Letters The Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Ed. Frederick L. Jones. 2 vols. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1964.
PBS Poems The Poems of Shelley. 1 vol. to date: I, ed. Geoffrey Matthews and Kelvin Everest. London: Longman, 1989-.
PBS Prose The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume I. Ed. E. B. Murray. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.
PBS Works The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume II. Ed. Neville Rogers. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1975.
Peacock Works The Works of Thomas Love Peacock. Ed. H. F. B. Brett-Smith and C. E. Jones. 10 vols. (The Halliford Edition.) London: Constable & Co. Ltd., 1924–1934.
Peck Walter Edwin Peck. “Shelley's Reviews Written for the Examiner,” Modern Language Notes 39 (1924): 118–119.
Polidori Diary The Diary of Dr. John William Polidori, 1816, Relating to Byron, Shelley, etc. Ed. William Michael Rossetti. London: Elkin Matthews, 1911.
Polidori Fiction The Vampyre and Ernestus Berchtold; or, The Modern Oedipus: Collected Fiction of John William Polidori. Ed. D. L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994.
Reynolds J[ohn]. H[amilton]. Reynolds. Safie. An Eastern Tale. London: James Cawthorn and John Martin, 1814.
Robinson Diary Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, Barrister-at-Law, F.S.A., ed. Thomas Sadler. 2 vols. in 1. New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1877.
Robinson, “Ollier” Charles E. Robinson. “Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charles Oilier, and William Blackwood: the contexts of early nineteenth-century publishing,” in Shelley Revalued: Essays from the Gregynog Conference, ed. Kelvin Everest (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1983), pages 183–226.
Romantics Reviewed The Romantics Reviewed: Contemporary Reviews of British Romantic Writers (Part C: Shelley, Keats, and London Radical Writers). Ed. Donald H. Reiman. 2 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1972. [Reiman prints photofacsimiles of the original reviews of Frankenstein in La Belle Assemblée, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Edinburgh Magazine, Knight's Quarterly Magazine, and Quarterly Review.]
St. Clair, Godwins & Shelleys William St Clair. The Godwins and the Shelleys: The biography of a family. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1989. [Reprinted in paper, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.]
St. Clair, “Shelley” William St Clair. “Shelley unlocked,” [London] Times, 7 March 1981, page 8.
SC Shelley and his Circle 1773–1822. 8 vols. to date: I-IV, ed. Kenneth Neill Cameron; V-VI, ed. Donald H. Reiman; VII-VIII, ed. Donald H. Reiman and Doucet Devin Fischer. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961–.
Shelley and Mary Shelley and Mary. 4 vols. Privately Printed [London, 1882].
Smith Johanna M. Smith. Page proofs of “‘Hideous Progenies': Texts of Frankenstein,” in Texts and Textuality: Textual Instability, Theory, and Interpretation (Wellesley Studies in Critical Theory, Literary History and Culture, Volume 13), ed. Philip Cohen (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., November, 1996), pages 123–142.
Stillinger Jack Stillinger. Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Sunstein Emily W. Sunstein. Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1989. [Reprinted in paper, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991, with corrections to “Appendix B: Mary Shelley's Works” (pages 409–415).]
Tinker Library Robert F. Metzdorf, compiler. The Tinker Library: A Bibliographical Catalogue of the Books and Manuscripts collected by Chauncey Brewster Tinker. New Haven: The Yale University Library, 1959.
Todd William B. Todd, compiler. A Directory of Printers and Others in Allied Trades, London and Vicinity, 1800–1840. London: Printing Historical Society, 1972.
Tokoo Drafts for Laon and Cythna: Facsimiles of Bodleian MSS. Shelley adds. e. 14 and adds. e. 19. Ed. Tatsuo Tokoo. (The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume XIII.) New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992.
Viets Henry R. Viets, M.D. “The London Editions of Polidori's The Vampyre,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 63 (1969): 83–103.


  1. Called Claire throughout this edition, Clara Mary Jane Clairmont was also sometimes called “Jane” by her family, which also included her half-brother Charles Gaulis Clairmont (1795–1850) and her step-sister Fanny Imlay Godwin (1794–1816). Claire and Charles were children of Mary Jane Vial Clairmont (1768–1841), who brought the two children into the family after she married the widower William Godwin in 1801. Filling out Godwin's family was William Godwin, Jr. (1803–1832). See Clairmont Correspondence, I, xviii, for the succinct statement on these relationships and for the remark that “Of these five children, born within nine years of each other, no two, apparently, had two parents in common.”

  2. The summer of 1816 was the coldest and wettest on record for many places in England, Europe, and the United States; for information on the strange weather (occasioned in part by atmospheric dust from volcanic eruptions during preceding years), consult Clubbe, “Summer,” pages 26–40.

  3. See “Short Titles” for a complete list of abbreviated forms used in citations: 1818, 1823, and 1831 distinguish the three major editions of Frankenstein in MWS's lifetime; 1818 Thomas indicates the copy of 1818 in which MWS made holograph alterations; and titles like 1818 Rieger and 1818 Crook distinguish scholarly editions of 1818 by the name of the editors. In order to continue the efficiency of this shorthand, I propose that 1816–17 denominate the Draft; 1817, the Fair Copy; and 1816–17 Robinson, this edition.

  4. As MWS expanded her “story” into the Draft novel, she may have drafted some new sections of her novel in now lost manuscripts that intervened between the ur-text and Draft Notebooks A and B.

  5. I repeat this list of collators in the Frankenstein Chronology for 31 October 1831. Murray, “Changes,” pages 320–323, lists 114 substantive textual variants between 1818 and 1823; and 1818 Crook adds 9 more (see page xcvi).

  6. See Walton's record of Victor's remarks in the revised Letter IV: “‘I agree with you,' replied the stranger; ‘we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves—such a friend ought to be—do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures. I once had a friend [Clerval], the most noble of human creatures, and am entitled, therefore, to judge respecting friendship'” (1831, page 16).

  7. That is, MWS did not paginate the entire or large sections of her notebooks either in advance or after she had completed portions of her writing. See, e.g., the photofacsimiles on pages 288, 290, and 294 in this edition: page number “10” and the text on that page are both in darker ink; page number “11” has the same faint ink and thin pen cut as the text on that page; both ink and pen cut suggest that page number “13” was written before the fourth word of line 1 on that page was written.

  8. It is dangerous to speculate why MWS changed from foliating to paginating, but in the shadows of this note I suggest that she had first planned to use this notebook for the purposes of a rough draft that she could keep track of by mere foliation, that the first forty pages were written in a form no rougher than the surviving leaves, and that MWS decided to continue using this notebook for the formal drafting of her novel, paginating as she went along as she did in all or most drafts of her fiction. Such a speculation, however, does not account for the fact that the first forty pages of the Draft are now missing (for the equivalent in the 1818 text, see pages 3–7 in this edition).

  9. The first example of Botfield paper is MS. Shelley adds. c. 5, folios 45–46 (two singletons, perhaps once conjoint), containing MWS's undated fair copy of the added fourth chapter of PBS's fragment “The Assassins,” the 1815 watermark being the only evidence that this fragment had been added to after the first part was composed on the Continent in August and September 1814 (for more detail about these leaves, see Editorial Commentary in PBS Prose, I, 384; but note that Murray mistakenly identified the watermark fancy letters as “TW&B” rather than “TW&BB”—the initials standing for Thomas William & Beriah Botfield). The second example of Botfield paper is MS. Shelley adds. c. 4, folios 194–195 (two singletons, perhaps once conjoint), containing a part of PBS's fragmentary draft materials for “Speculations on Morals and Metaphysics,” undated (for photofacsimiles of and additional information on these pages, see Murray, adds. c. 4, pages 218–225, 489, and 517; see also note 20 below for a Pforzheimer fragment of “Speculations,” textually related to this one, that could well be on waste paper from Draft Notebook B). Both these examples also show possible marks of sewing holes at their inside edges, though their edges are too badly damaged to determine if the paper originated as loose sheets or as leaves from a sewn notebook. There is a third possible example of Botfield paper (MS. Shelley adds. c. 12, folio 21), but it is too small to show any signs of sewing holes. PBS used this small scrap of paper (with a fragmentary watermark comprising the lower left part of a triple oval and the date 181[ ], exactly matching those parts of the Botfield Britannia) for his undated note (?13 May 1815–?30 December 1816) to MWS that accompanied his cheque of £300 payable to “Miss Godwin” for emergency use (see PBS Letters, I, 426–427). Economy of evidence would suggest that all these leaves came from the same batch of paper, maybe even from one folio notebook. In none of them is it possible to be certain whether the writing was done by MWS or PBS before or after removal from the putative notebook, but the balance of evidence favors the idea that it was being pulled apart as a quarry for blank paper rather than as a collective repository for miscellaneous prose: The “Assassins” material was the continuation of a text started on loose sheets; PBS's “Speculations” was so scrappy that their very continuity is in doubt; and PBS's fragmentary note to MWS was clearly a loose scrap of paper.

  10. This unique watermark of “TW&BB | 1809” in the Bodleian collections (Abinger Dep. c. 523) is on paper used by William Godwin to write to his wife on 11 September 1812 during his brief stop at Bath while traveling to Bristol.

  11. The Quiring Charts will draw attention to two other anomalies: two of the pages in “X” (folios 14 verso and 15 recto) are blank, even though the text passes continuously around them from 14 recto to 15 verso (suggesting that MWS may have accidentally turned over two leaves as she drafted her revisions); and the pagination in both “X” and “Y” is erratic (partly resulting from the way MWS numbered the pages to identify the path through these two groups of pages). Also of some significance is that two of these pages (folios 12 recto and 16 recto), namely, the beginning pages of “X” and “Y” (the first canceled and replaced by the second with the heading “another Chapter” in PBS's hand) have MWS's regular style of a page number at a top corner that is separated from the text by a curved line (represented in my type facsimiles by a parenthesis). In both cases, however, the number appears at the top left or inner margin of a recto (rather than the usual position of a page number at the top right or outer margin of a recto), and in both cases the pagination would not be consistent with the last extant page 21, an odd number on a verso. Clearly there was some kind of lapse between now missing pages 22 and 56.

  12. It is almost certain that the paper used for the two quarter sheets of SC 339 (which are discussed and represented by photofacsimile in SC, IV, 733–744) originated in Notebook B: the position of the two fragmentary watermarks of “180[6]” and “1806” are consistent with the position of the watermark “JL | 1806” on the half sheets of Notebook B; and the measurements provided for the larger of the two quarter sheets (7.8" x 6.2" = c. 199 x 158 mm. for a quarter sheet = c. 199 x 316 mm. for a half sheet) are close enough to the half-sheet measurements of 199–202 x 310–311 mm. to warrant the likelihood of the source. Although not provable for certain without a direct side-by-side comparison of the actual paper in Notebook B and SC 399, the link between the two strongly suggests that PBS was drafting at least parts of his “Speculations on Morals and Metaphysics” at or near the time that MWS was drafting Frankenstein. Compare the link between “Speculations” and Frankenstein by way of the Botfield paper, discussed above in note [9].

  13. The evidence for both the address and the circular double-rimmed black postmark is minimal, but the capital “M” on the address panel is clearly in the hand of William Godwin; Godwin at this time addressed letters to MWS as “Mrs Shelley” and to PBS, as “P B Shelley” (see transcription page 419 in this edition); and there is enough of the smudged and partly torn away postmark to use with Godwin's diary to confirm that the date is 9 April 1817.

  14. The last likely date for any revision would be 29 April 1817, when MWS did both “Transcribe and correct F.” (see Frankenstein Chronology for that date).

  15. Note that MWS always canceled extended passages in The Frankenstein Notebooks with long vertical lines, whereas PBS always used wavy cancel lines (see pages 123 and 223 in this edition in order to contrast the two patterns).

  16. The wet offset ink blots on folio 42 verso (offset from folio 43 recto), definite but out of alignment, prove that at least one of these facing leaves was already loose in the volume when the ink of the corrections was still wet—and they suggest that the leaf was loose when MWS drafted the revised text on folio 43 recto (see notes on transcription page 435 in this edition as well as the visual evidence on pages 434 and 436).

  17. The sewing holes of both notebooks, each at three stations, have a professional appearance but are not identical: the holes in C1 seem larger and more evident, and they are not quite aligned with the less definite pattern of sewing holes in C2.

  18. There are other examples of 24-leaf notebooks still intact in the decorative paper covers in the Abinger collection: Dep. e. 273 (William Godwin, “Supplement to Journal” for dates in 1793 and 1795); and Dep. d. 563–4 (from a series of notebooks used for transcripts by John Gisborne at Plymouth in the early 1830s).

  19. One significant notation, most likely made by a compositor, is on lines 14–15 of pages 680–681 in this edition, where a bracket (usually used by the Shelleys and the printers to mark the beginning of a paragraph) is used in conjunction with “[Vol. III-G121]” to indicate that the marked word begins page 121, the first page in the new gathering signed “G,” in Volume III of the 1818 edition. Compositors often “signed” printer's copy, indicating where they began and/or finished setting type. For other examples among the Bodleian Shelley manuscripts, see photofacsimiles as well as pages 124, 134 (n.6), and 139 in O'Neill.

  20. Later sewing holes at the top inside corner of folio 30 suggest that it was later tagged together with the final leaves of Notebook C2.

  21. The substitute folio 31 is probably not from one and the same notebook that was used for the translation of Aeschylus because the single leaf's torn edge and half-watermark do not align with the edges and half-watermarks of the twelve leaves used for the translation, but the identical measurements between the single leaf and the twelve leaves (together with an identical commercial ruling) mean that the two notebooks were probably purchased at the same time. The complete watermark found on the single surviving bifolium (folios 73 and 84) of the Aeschylus Notebook is a posthorn in a crowned shield over a monogram “CB[?]”; folios 74–83 each contain the top half of the watermark.

  22. The day after writing this sentence and the first two paragraphs in this section in August 1996, I encountered an excellent article by Bernard Duyfhuizen that skillfully addresses this important issue of naming. Duyfhuizen also makes some interesting remarks on the way that “wretch” supports a doppelgänger reading of the novel.

  23. The “hideous progeny” also, of course, refers to MWS's own novel that she bids “go forth and prosper.”

  24. Even something as simple as a pronoun can implicate or incriminate an editor—“[he]” could have been “[it].”

  25. For an often overlooked, brief, but provocative treatment of names in MWS's fiction, see St. Clair, “Shelley.”

  26. Before doing the Frankenstein Chronology; I was tempted to use the alterations in Clerval's name to suggest that MWS drafted all or part of Notebook B (where “Clairval” is to be found) before she drafted all or most of Notebook A (where “Clerval” is to be found). But all other things about The Frankenstein Notebooks persuade me that could not have been the case. And Ketterer's even more convoluted “inward-moving spiral” hypothesis in his “Draft” essay, pages 254 ff., is just not to be believed, for it flies in the face of all the other evidence to the contrary: e.g., MWS beginning her Draft in Continental Notebook A (most likely acquired in or around Geneva) and then continuing her Draft in a British Notebook B (possibly acquired in Bath); MWS making Journal references to the early Notebook A inserts on 27 October 1816, to Notebook A's page “137” on 20 November 1816, and to the now lost intersection of Notebooks A and B on 5 December 1816. Ketterer bases much of his speculation on a reading of the sequence of the Maimouna/Amina/Safie references in what I have called the “X” and “Y” inserts in Notebook B. See my analysis of the “Safie” name changes, all of which make perfect sense in the order in which MWS made them within a very short period in April 1817—see also pages 314–341 in this edition, especially the explanations on the shadowed pages.

  27. I am indebted to Donald H. Reiman for pointing out these antecedents to me. Hogg in his Life of Shelley remarked that PBS had always called Mrs. Boinville “the presiding divinity ‘Meimouné'. Why he gave her this name I could never learn. She did not resemble the heroine of the Oriental tale in appearance, conduct, or opinions.” Peacock in his Memoirs of Shelley corrected Hogg and claimed that PBS called Mrs. Boinville “not Meimouné, but Maimuna, from Southey's Thalaba” (see Life of Shelley, II, 137, 326). For the name in “The Assassins,” see PBS Prose, I, 137. See also Clairmont Journals, page 424, for a reference to a “Maimonna” who was a daughter shaped by her mother (Nora Crook drew my attention to this reference).

  28. One of the antecedents to the name of “Safie” may be found in John Hamilton Reynolds' Safie. An Eastern Tale, and it may be much more than a coincidence that MWS first met Reynolds just two months before she used the name of Safie—see MWSJournal, I, 162, for Reynolds and MWS supping with the Hunts in Hampstead on 5 February 1817.

  29. For a recent but unverified suggestion about the name “Frankenstein,” see Ketterer's “Name” note where he quotes “Atticus” in the London Sunday Times for 30 October 1994: “Atticus” (the name that Taki Theodoracopulos adopts for his column) claimed to have heard that MWS “decided to name the scientist Frankenstein after the nicest man she knew, Baron Frankenstein, the German consul in Geneva” at that time. Ketterer confesses, however, that his letter of inquiry to a German archivist in Berlin did not provide any corroborating evidence of this claim. Perhaps Ketterer or another can make further inquiries in Geneva or elsewhere. For other suggestions about the name “Frankenstein,” see Palacio, pages 93–94, n.5.

  30. If the Walton story did not exist in the ur-text, then MWS could not have noticed or created until later (not before September 1816) the set of parallel initials for Walton's married sister, Margaret Walton Saville: MWS was writing as if she were Walton who was writing letters to his sister “MWS.” It is possible that MWS created the sister's name of “MWS” (or at least the name of “Margaret”) as early as September 1816, by which time the outside frame had been begun in the missing forty pages of Notebook A; but it is also possible that MWS did not create the sister's full married name until after she married PBS in December 1816 and officially became MWS. We know that “Margaret” was the name in the final pages of the Draft that were written in March/April 1817, but it is possible that the name “Saville” was not finally decided upon until April 1817, by which time the choice of the innermost name “Safie” would be strongly echoed by the name “Saville” if pronounced as a French name. It is more than possible that the choice of one of these names involved the choice of the other.

  31. Although there are other places in The Frankenstein Notebooks where it is much more evident that MWS copied and then canceled and then recopied portions of a previous text, consider a possible instance of this on page 44 of what is now Ch. 2: MWS first wrote and then canceled “The C” and then wrote another sentence and then wrote “The catastrophe …” (see transcription page 29, lines 29–30, in this edition).

  32. See especially Draft: Vol. I, Ch. 13, where MWS canceled lines 16–25 on her page 138 only to rewrite them at lines 22–31 on page 142; she also canceled words in lines 12–13 on page 142 and rewrote them in lines 17–19; and she canceled lines 3–5 on page 147 and rewrote them at lines 10–13 on the same page (see pages 222–223, 230–231, 240–241 in this edition).

  33. Pamela Clemit does not remark on this distinction between the two manuscripts (Abinger Dep. 374/1–2) in her edition of MWS Mathilda, but she does print the “The Fields of Fancy” in an appendix, thereby enabling a comparison of the two texts. Photofacsimiles of part of the manuscript of “The Fields of Fancy” may be consulted in Murray, d.1; another Bodleian manuscript containing parts of “Mathilda” is Shelley adds. c. 5—see MWS “Mathilda” in the “Short Titles.”

  34. The canceled “156” in this calculation is merely the sum of “104” and “52” without the “24”; and the “17” to the side may have been a false start for the sums of “180,” one of which is off to the other side.

  35. Other numbers discussed on transcription pages 9, 583, and 775 concern the pencil notations made by “R. L.” who surveyed the MWS and PBS manuscripts for one of the Lords Abinger, providing other clues as to what was extant at that time.

  36. There is evidence in the form of a secret code in Godwin's Diary that he and Mary Wollstonecraft were having sexual intercourse at this time—see St. Clair, Godwins & Shelleys, “Appendix I: Godwin's sexual relationship with Mary Wollstonecraft,” pages 497–503. St. Clair reasons that MWS was more likely conceived in November 1796 (a month in keeping with the birth of the monster), but the evidence can be interpreted in a number of different ways. And MWS may have adjusted the 276-day gestation period by 13 days at both ends: that is, conceived on or around 29 November 1796, MWS started the novel 13 days later on 11 December 17[96]; born on 30 August 1797, MWS ended the novel 13 days later on 12 September 17[97].

  37. It is time for someone to create a full chronology of the action in this narrative, revealing such important dates as 1789 for Victor going off to university and 1793 for the creation of the monster, both years resonating with the events of the French Revolution. Mellor (pages 54–55, 237–238), 1818 Wolf-1 (pages 340–342), and others have attempted the chronology, but some murkiness in the text makes them get a year off here and there. (And MWS's change from 26 to 28 May may have been the source of the problem, for the 27th would have placed William's death in 1794, a year more in keeping with elapsed time elsewhere in the narrative.) Anyone attempting a full chronology will need to consider not only date changes in these Notebooks but also the changes between 1818 and 1831.

  38. For additional places where there are changes between manuscript and 1818, see transcription pages 37 (line 22), 177 (line 15), 613 (line 33), and 617 (line 1).

  39. For a transcription of this rhyming game (called “bout-rimés”) from the Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. e. 12, page 185, see Barker-Benfield, Guitar, pages 128–129. For a brief consideration of this and other collaborations between the Shelleys, see MWS Dramas, page 19, n.1, and pages 9–10: in her fair copies of Prosperpine and Midas, MWS transcribed and incorporated four of PBS's lyrics that he wrote for these dramas in the winter of 1820/21.

  40. I have a much better sense of what this kind of collaboration means after having benefited from the advice of more than a dozen scholars who have read and improved an earlier draft of this “Introduction.” As I indicate in the “Acknowledgments,” one of these scholars, Bruce Barker-Benfield, was very much present in the making of many parts of this edition.

  41. Mellor, e.g., cautioning those who saw MWS's anxiety of authorship in her use of the word “author” to describe Victor, reminded everyone that it was PBS rather than MWS who called Victor an “author” of his own misery and of the monster. Mellor (page 65) was correct in her judgment, and now everyone can use these photofacsimiles to inspect the unequivocal evidence that the word “author” was in PBS's hand in these four crucial places. (See PBS's characteristic “r” [and also “a”] in each “author” on pages 228–229, 262–263, 264–265, and 758–759 [also 813] in this edition—also contrast the look of MWS's “author” on pages 55–56 of this edition; and even see pages 22–23 where a PBS “authors” in line 6 may be contrasted with an MWS “authors” in line 19. Granted, there are considerable similarities between the two hands, but the contexts of each word on pages 22–23 will train the eye to distinguish MWS's from PBS's hand.) Being able to distinguish these two hands with more precision will also help to confirm and/or modify the fascinating research undertaken by John F. Burrows, whose computational stylistics has led to a conclusion that MWS (as well as Mary Robinson and Emily Brontë) had a style more resembling male than other female writers. However, even Burrows' more moderate conclusion that this distinction may “best be understood as reflecting differences of education rather than gender” (page S3.ii) will have to be tested against new data in which his sample passages from Frankenstein do not include text that came directly from PBS rather than MWS.

  42. See, e.g., the different ways that E. B. Murray (PBS Prose, I, 429–446) and Jeanne Moskal (MWS Travel Writing, pages 1–8) have reconstructed the Shelleys' collaboration on History of a Six Weeks' Tour.

  43. In a final collaborative act, Nora Crook informed me about Angela Leighton's TLS review (2 August 1996) of Zachary Leader's just released Revision and Romantic Authorship, a book that I had overlooked but that fortunately the University of Delaware Library had just purchased and processed. Leader's chapter on “Parenting Frankenstein” (pages 167–205) deftly counters some of Mellor's judgments that PBS's revisions were for the worse, but it perpetuates on pages 167, 171 (n. 17), and 191 a few errors (1818 was not published in March; there was no need for caution by Leader or by 1831 Smith [page 274 and n.] in attributing those four instances of the word “author” to PBS; and at least part of the Fair Copy “surfaced” a number of years ago). On the whole, however, Leader provides an important view of the two Shelleys' collaboration: he makes the valid point that collaboration need not be “imposition”; he demonstrates that MWS was very much in control of her own novel; and he judges PBS's “alterations” in keeping with the evidence now contained within The Frankenstein Notebooks.