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IFD Publishing, P.O. Box 40776, Eugene, Oregon 97404 U.S.A. (541)461-3272 www.ifdpublishing.com

Book design by Alan M. Clark and Eric Witchey

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For those who have fought to become clean and sober. Keep fighting.

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From Hell: An Introduction by Simon Clark

A dozen or so years after the publication of Frankenstein in 1818, Mary Shelley wrote a new introduction to the 1831 edition. By then Frankenstein had already been a huge bestseller, a successful play, and laid the foundation of the monster mythos that continues to prosper today. In that later introduction Mary Shelley wrote this in the new edition of her famous novel: “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper. I have an affection for it, for it was the offspring of happy days, when death and grief were but words, which found no true echo in my heart.”

The key words that are relevant not only to Mary Shelley’s personal view of her literary creation, but also the book you now hold in your hands, are “when death and grief were but words, which found no true echo in my heart.” Mary wrote her book as a young woman. At the time her invented episodes of death, destruction and a man constructed of corpse parts, then brought to life, to ultimately murder its own creator were, she acknowledged, frivolous play things originally intended to amuse herself and her companion during inclement weather at the famous Villa Diodati. By the time she penned the second introduction for a revised Frankenstein, her husband was dead and her spirit had been corroded by this and other tragedies great and small. So, in short, the fictional incidents of death and grief that befall Frankenstein and his nameless monster did come to find a true echo in her heart in the face of enduring life as a grieving widow and supporting a father who apparently sucked the financial lifeblood out of her.

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