Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

How Mary Shelley Made a Monster, in her own words–Part 3

Better late than never… here at last is the final installment! Mary realizes that her imaginative vision has finally presented her with a story…

I opened mine in terror. The idea so possessed my mind, that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around. I see them still; the very room, the dark parquet, the closed shutters, with the moonlight struggling through, and the sense I had that the glassy lake and white high Alps were beyond. I could not so easily get rid of my hideous phantom; still it haunted me.  I must try to think of something else. I recurred to my ghost story – my tiresome, unlucky ghost story! O! if I could only contrive one which would frighten my reader as I myself have been frightened that night!

Swift as light and as cheering was the idea that broke in upon me.  “I have found it! What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only describe the specter which had haunted my midnight pillow.” On the morrow I announced that I had thought of a story. I began that day with the words, “It was on a dreary night of November,” making only a transcript of the grim terrors of my waking dream.

And so,  Frankenstein !

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