Man Who Wrote
By John Lauritsen. 232
pages. Illustrations, bibliography, and appendices. Trade Paperback:
Price lowered to $3.99
(was $16.95) ISBN 978-0-943742-14-4. Also
available in a
Library Binding (Smythe sewn, case binding): Price lowered to $5.99 (was $24.95). ISBN
978-0-943742-15-1. Pagan Press 2007.
Frankenstein is the
most famous work of English Romanticism. Victor Frankenstein and the
monster he created have entered our collective imagination —
through movies, comic books, T-shirts, Halloween masks, etc. They have
entered the discourse of erudite scholars, as well as the man on the
belief is that Frankenstein was written by a teenaged girl, Mary Godwin
(later Mary Shelley), who took part in a ghost-story contest in Geneva,
had a nightmare, and was inspired to write a story “which
would frighten my reader as I myself had been frightened that
John Lauritsen's new
book, The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein (TMWWF), explodes the Mary Shelley myth,
demonstrating that Frankenstein
is not just a scary story, but a work
of profound and radical ideas, written by one of the greatest poets in
English, who deliberately concealed his authorship. The book
has three theses:
is a great work, which has consistently been underrated
author of Frankenstein
is Percy Bysshe Shelley.
• Male love
is a central theme of Frankenstein.
Lauritsen, male love, as romantic friendship, is a central theme of
Sometimes the expressions of male love are remarkably
direct, but at other times they are expressed in coded language or
references known only to the “initiated”. He uses
his skills as a gay historian to decode and interpret these references.
The Man Who Wrote
Frankenstein has nine appendices, which include full texts
Bysshe Shelley's Preface to Frankenstein.
review of Frankenstein.
Introduction to the bowdlerized 1831 edition of Frankenstein
— which was written, at least in part, by William Godwin.
• The 1824
review of Valperga.
Garnett's essay on Mary Shelley from the Dictionary of National
There is also an
For Camille Paglia's
Salon.com review click here.
For Jim Herrick's
review in Gay Humanist
Quarterly click here.
For Richard Labonte's
“Bookmarks” review click here.
For Tom Elliott's
review click here.
For Jesse Monteagudo's
review in the South
Florida Express click
For Hubert Kennedy's
review in The Guide
For Ian Young's review
in Torso click here.
For Andrew Calimach's
review click here.
Sadownick's review in Gay
& Lesbian Review click
here There is cognitive dissonance in having to believe that a masterpiece like Frankenstein was written by a mediocre writer like Mary Shelley. In a hostile non-review of TMWWF (Guardian, 9 April 2007) Germaine Greer resolved this dissonance by asserting that Frankenstein “is not a good, let alone a great novel." She evaluated Frankenstein as a realistic novel — which it is not, nor intended to be. To read my reply, which the Guardian published, click here.The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein
did receive two negative reviews. Both were written by academics;
both were grossly unfair and biased. But at least the editors
permitted me to reply to them:
• Reply to Jonathan Gross review in Common Review, 2007. To read my reply click here.
• Reply to Christopher Goulding review in BARS Review, Fall 2008. To read my reply click here.
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