Ever since Ellen Moer's « Literary Women » (1976), « Frankenstein » has been recognized as a novel in which issues about authorship are intimately bound up with those of gender. The work has frequently been related to the circumstance of Shelley's combining the biological role of mother with the social role of author. [...]
Throughout his life, Percy Shelley remained constantly under attacks from reviewers. The criticisms were directed at the content of his works, his (supposed) imitative style, or his personal life. [...]
Questions of gender and genre in Frankenstein remain complex issues for contemporary critics, in the novel itself as well as in its cinematographic adaptations, from John Whale's classic 1931 version to Kenneth Branagh's 1994 "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." Though science seems to be the unifying principle behind the main story of the novel and the films, I will argue that Shelley incorporates science and sexual orientation within her novel in a way that differs significantly from the films, and especially from Branagh's version.
Prefaces are often disregarded by readers who, more often than not, start without taking time to peruse them first. Sir Walter Scott knew this perfectly well, and he wrote about it, very wittily, in 'A PostScript Which Should Have Been a Preface', the last chapter of his novel Waverley written in 1814: 'most novel readers, as my own conscience reminds me, are apt to be guilty of the sin of omission respecting the same matter of prefaces' . Scott refers to novel readers but poetry readers are also 'guilty of the sin of omission', maybe even more so in so far as they may wish, understandably enough, to read only poetry and not a prose introduction. Many critics include prefaces in their analysis, but most of the time only as a means of interpreting the work they precede. Thus critics limit the role of prefaces simply to introductory materials and exclude any other potential interpretation. It is sometimes forgotten that the very presence or absence of a preface is already pregnant with meaning. [...]
Leigh Hunt's authorship of « A legend of Florence » (1840) — a drama inspired by the rich cultural, intellectual, and political climate of Italy — reflects, as Michael Eberle-Sinatra demonstrates in the final essay of the first section, not only a literary exchange between England and Italy, but argues that during the creation of his play, Hunt engaged in his own version of border crossing as he managed the transition between writing about and writing for the stage. A complex maneuver that required Hunt to rech beyond his own intellectual boundaries, the shift from critic to dramatist challenged and enriched his thoughts regarding the work of the theater.