See The Earliest Illustration of Shelley's Frankenstein For Yourself

Illustration for article titled See The Earliest Illustration of Shelleys emFrankenstein/em For Yourself

Frankenstein's monster has had many appearances over the decades, from Boris Karloff to... Aaron Eckhart? But the first ever illustration, from 1831, shows a more human-looking creature. And you can see it for yourself.

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The original illustration featured in the frontpiece of the 1831 edition of Mary Shelley's influential novel is going on display at the British Library, as part of a collection called "Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination." The exhibition, starting Oct. 3, will also feature pictures of Karloff's version, plus later imaginings.

British Library curator Gary Buzwell explains the differences between the versions to the Telegraph:

"In the book, the Creature is almost sympathetic. In the film, although we do get the sense he is misunderstood, the intention was to have a character who was quite frightening - hence the beefed-up physique, the clumpy boots, the macabre stitches and the bolts through the neck. He became a menacing figure. The Creature in the 1831 illustration is fairly close to what Shelley had in mind."

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More details at the link. [The Telegraph]

Illustration for article titled See The Earliest Illustration of Shelleys emFrankenstein/em For Yourself

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DISCUSSION

This is great. Penny Dreadful is the most faithful interpretation of the creature I've ever seen, it's amazing how popular Frankenstein is and yet it is so rarely done right.