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Frankenstein and the Spark of Being

Part of the series Art in Context
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How did Regency period ideas about science and electricity influence Mary Shelley's tale of an infamous creation. Frank A.J.L. James and J.V. Field explain.

The story of Frankenstein has now become a myth. That is, it has taken on a life of its own independent of Mary Shelley's text, and indeed even independent of certain parts of her narrative. Modern versions of the myth, from the film starring Boris Karloff (1931) to the television advertisements for the denationalisation of National Power (1990), show electricity being used to bring the monster to life.


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