Books

Classic Radio Sci-Fi: BBC Drama Collection

Arthur Conan Doyle (and others)

Five seminal science fiction classics are brought vividly to life in these gripping BBC Radio dramatisations, with casts including Robert Glenister, William Gaunt, Carleton Hobbs and Joanne Froggatt. "Frankenstein" (1994) is adapted from one of the first science fiction novels, Mary Shelley's tale of a scientist who tries to play God and creates a monster. "The Time Machine" (2009) dramatises one of the first stories to feature time travel, HG Wells' thrilling tale of an inventor who discovers a dystopian future. "The Lost World" (1975) is based on a classic fantasy adventure story by Arthur Conan Doyle's, whose notion of dinosaurs roaming our world was the inspiration for Jurassic Park. "R.U.R." (1989) is a radio production of Karel Capek's thought-provoking play which introduced the word 'robot' to the English language. "Solaris" (2007) dramatises Stanislaw Lem's pioneering ghost story set in space, both a suspenseful thriller and a philosophical meditation on guilt and the human condition. Accompanying this collection is a bonus PDF file featuring extensive sleeve notes by Andrew Pixley. Duration: 10 hours approx.

Matilda

Mary Shelley

'I gained his secret and we were both lost for ever'

Mary Shelley's dark story of a bereaved man's disturbing passion for his daughter was suppressed by her own father, and not published for over a century.

One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.

Ladybird Classics: Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

This Ladybird Classic is an abridged retelling of the classic tale of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. A perfect introduction to the famous story, it is ideal for adults to read with children, or for newly confident readers to tackle alone. Please note that due to some scary parts in places, content may not be suitable for very young or sensitive readers.

Victor Frankenstein has always been fascinated by the darker side of nature One fateful night, his sinister obsession triggers a chain of events that will have terrible consequences for Frankenstein and those closest to him...

Beautiful new illustrations and a gorgeous larger format with ribbon marker bring the magic of this classic story to a new generation of children.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

A stunning new clothbound edition of Mary Shelley's infamous work of horror fiction, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectible Penguin editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design

Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. This chilling gothic tale, begun when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

This edition also includes 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and 'The Vampyre: A Tale' by John Polidori, as well as an introduction and notes

Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the daughter of pioneering thinkers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, eloped with the poet Percy Shelley at the age of sixteen. Three years later, during a wet summer on Lake Geneva, Shelley famously wrote her masterpiece, Frankenstein. The years of her marriage were blighted by the deaths of three of her four children, and further tragedy followed in 1822, when Percy Shelley drowned in Italy. Following his death, Mary Shelley returned to England and continued to travel and write until her own death at the age of fifty-three.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by award-winning director Guillermo del Toro.

The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of Frankenstein. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship ... and horror.

Mary Shelley was born in 1797, the only daughter of writers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, but she wrote several other works, including Valpergaand The Last Man.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

The Penguin English Library Edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

'Never did I behold a vision so horrible as his face, of such loathsome, yet appalling hideousness'

A twisted, upside-down creation myth, Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale lays bare the dark side of science, and the horror within us all. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, who plunders graveyards to create a new being from the bodies of the dead - but whose botched creature causes nothing but murder and destruction. Written after a nightmare when its author was only eighteen, Frankenstein gave birth to the modern science fiction novel.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Frankenstein (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Mary Shelley

Now a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Kostova and cover art by Ghost World creator Daniel Clowes, Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel presents the epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

One of the best known horror stories ever.

Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss scientist, has a great ambition: to create intelligent life. But when his creature first stirs, he realizes he has made a monster. A monster which, abandoned by his master and shunned by everyone who sees it, follows Dr Frankenstein with murder and horrors to the very ends of the earth.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

What you create can destroy you.

One freezing morning, a lone man wandering across the Artic ice caps is rescued from starvation by a ship's captain. Victor Frankenstein's story is one of ambition, murder and revenge. As a young scientist he pushed moral boundaries in order to cross the final frontier and create life. But his creation is a monster stitched together from grave-robbed body parts who has no place in the world, and his life can only lead to tragedy.

Written when she was only nineteen, Shelley's gothic tale is one of the greatest horror stories ever published.

Three Gothic Novels

Horace Walpole (and others)

The Gothic novel, which flourished from about 1765 until 1825, revels in the horrible and the supernatural, in suspense and exotic settings.

This volume, with its erudite introduction by Mario Praz, presents three of the most celebrated Gothic novels: The Castle of Otranto, published pseudonymously in 1765, is one of the first of the genre and the most truly Gothic of the three. Vathek (1786), an oriental tale by an eccentric millionaire, exotically combines Gothic romanticism with the vivacity of The Arabian Nights and is a narrative tour de force. The story of Frankenstein (1818) and the monster he created is as spine-chilling today as it ever was; as in all Gothic novels, horror is the keynote.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley (and others)

A terrifying vision of scientific progress without moral limits, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein leads the reader on an unsettling journey from the sublime beauty of the Swiss alps to the desolate waste of the arctic circle. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Maurice Hindle.

Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley's chilling gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Lord Byron's villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world's most famous work of Gothic horror, and Frankenstein's monster an instantly-recognisable symbol of the limits of human creativity.

Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Shelley's preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori's 'The Vampyre: A Tale'.

Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of the author and political philosopher William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married when his first wife died in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, but she wrote several other works, including Valperga and The Last Man.

If you liked Frankenstein, you might enjoy Bram Stoker's Dracula, also available in Penguin Classics.

Mary and Maria, Matilda

Mary Shelley (and others)

These three works of fiction - two by Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and one by her daughter Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein - are powerfully emotive stories that combine passion with forceful feminist argument. In Mary Wollstonecraft's Mary, the heroine flees her young husband in order to nurse her dearest friend, Ann, and finds genuine love, while Maria tells of a desperate young woman who seeks consolation in the arms of another man after the loss of her child. And Mary Shelley's Matilda - suppressed for over a century - tells the story of a woman alienated from society by the incestuous passion of her father. Humane, compassionate and highly controversial, these stories demonstrate the strongly original genius of their authors.

Biography

The childhood of Mary Shelley (1797 - 1851), sounds rather like a dark fairy-tale. Her mother died giving birth to her and she was brought up by a remote father and a step-mother who hated her. Her step-sister was a depressive and later committed suicide and Mary had little in common with her step-brother or her half-brother. As a young girl, she escaped into books and would often read by the side of her mother's tomb.

In 1813 Mary met Percy Bysshe Shelley. He was only twenty-one but was already unhappily married. He was destined to be one of the geniuses of English poetry. The two fell in love and eloped, despite Mary's age. Her father, William Godwin, disowned her, but still she and Shelley were married in 1816. They settled in Italy but tragedy seemed to follow them. Only one of their four children lived very long and then, in 1822, when he was just thirty, Shelley was drowned. Mary lived for another thirty years but she lost the promise that she had shown in the company of her brilliant husband and his friends, such as the poet Lord Byron. The single book that we remember her for belonged to her happy time in Italy.

It was Byron who suggested in 1817, that they each write a horror story. The result in Mary's case, was Frankenstein. As well as being creepier than most other books in the genre, Frankenstein has a far better story-line and is in the end, both moving and tragic. Amazingly, a young girl of twenty gave us the book whose name has become synonymous with horror.