Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Search of Frankenstein book

In honour of this spooky month, I'm going to showcase all of my vintage horror/monster-related books throughout October.

Here is a very interesting one called "In Search of Frankenstein" which tracks how Frankenstein came to be written, looking back on Mary Shelly's life, who her parents were, who her husband and friends were, places she traveled, important scientific discoveries up to that point and various other elements which may have impacted her famous frightening novel. Frankenstein combines myth with personal, literary, social, philosophical and scientific history and this book puts a magnifying glass on where many of Shelly's influences may have derived.  
One of the most interesting parts of this book is the author's speculation that "Dracula vs. Frankenstein" may have some genuine historical basis. There really was a German family of Frankensteins (that lived in Castle Frankenstein!) who existed at the same time as the historical Dracula (mid 1400s). Some of the Frankensteins travelled through Transylvania with a mission of Christianizing heathens in Eastern Europe (at the point of the sword). As the book says: "Since Dracula was, in essence, an opponent of the German political and economic penetration of Eastern Europe - he impaled the Germans of Transylvania in large numbers - is by no means impossible that the historical Dracula may have met a real Frankenstein in battle... a Frankenstein may even have ended his career impaled on Dracula's stake!". That is some bloody good stuff.   

In Search of Frankenstein, Radu Florescu, 1975

Amazing font

Photos! Castle Frankenstein!

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