The Origins of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

On January 1st, 1818, Mary Shelley, at age nineteen, published the gothic novel Frankenstein. The novel dramatizes the clash of two cultures—the Enlightenment that celebrated reason and science and the Romantic age that celebrated passion and art. Our video highlights how Mary Shelley's family and those around her influenced her creation of the novel.

Written by Stephen Kern. Narration by Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle. A textual version of this video is available at

Video production by Laura Seeger and Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle. Audio production by Paul Kotheimer, College of Arts & Sciences Academic Technology Services.

This is a production of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective at the Goldberg Center in the Department of History at The Ohio State University and the Department of History at Miami University.