Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, by
Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

Release Date: October 31, 1993 [eBook #84]
[Most recently updated: May 3, 2005]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


[Chapters 1-6: mostly scanned by David Meltzer,, proofread, partially typed and submitted by
Christy Phillips,, submitted on 9/24/93.
Proofread by Lynn Hanninen, submitted 10/93.]

Frankenstein, continued (Chapters 20-24)
Scanned by Judy Boss (
Proofread by Christy Phillips (
Reproofed by Lynn Hanninen (
Margination and last proofing by anonymous volunteers

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
by Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

Letter 1

TO Mrs. Saville, England

St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17--

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the
commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil
forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure
my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success
of my undertaking.

I am already far north of London, and as I walk in the streets of
Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which
braces my nerves and fills me with delight. Do you understand this
feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards
which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes.
Inspirited by this wind of promise, my daydreams become more fervent
and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of
frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the
region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is forever
visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing a
perpetual splendour. There--for with your leave, my sister, I will put
some trust in preceding navigators--there snow and frost are banished;
and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in
wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable
globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the
phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered
solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I
may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle and may
regulate a thousand celestial observations that require only this
voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent forever. I
shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world
never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by
the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to
conquer all fear of danger or death and to induce me to commence this
laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little
boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his
native river. But supposing all these conjectures to be false, you
cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all
mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole
to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are
requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at
all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 18th Jan 2021, 13:47