Mary Shelley, Second Drafting

Small in a huge chair; curvy and barefoot,

she copied out the manuscript to put

corrected spelling and real punctuation

to her original, fictive design---

the brilliant novel titled, Frankenstein.

This process was fraught with deep aggravation,

her journal noted her exasperation.


Starward

[*/+/^]

Author's Notes/Comments: 

They tell me that the first draft of Frankenstein, now in the possession of the British Museum (where it was deposited by Mary Shelley's son), is full of the most atrocious spelling errors; and that the sole puncutation mark she used was a dash.  Some scholars have suggested that, writing in the heat of inspiration after June 16, 1816 (in the wee hours of which she had the nightmare that inspired it), she could not have been bothered with the niceties of spelling and punctuation.  Her journal which, if I recall correctly, was published around 1940 (by a scholar whose hostility toward her was obvious in his notations), has a long series of single entries of just two words---"Correct Frankenstein."

View januarian's Full Portfolio