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Published in 1831 as part of the Standard Novels series by Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, the second edition of Frankenstein marks the novel’s shift towards wider accessibility. The book—bound in plain maroon cloth and only costing six shillings—includes a new introduction by Mary Shelley that melodramatically retells the story of the novel’s conception. Affected by the deaths of her two children and husband, Shelley also imbues this edition with greater undertones of pessimistic naturalism, or the idea that man’s fate is controlled by forces beyond his understanding.
Explore related items in digital Special Collections exhibits at San Jose State University and at University of San Francisco! Both exhibits exist in a collaboration with the Santa Clara University exhibit to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Find our collaboration website here: https://frankenstein200yrs.wordpress.com/.