Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley | Go to book overview

Letter 1

To Mrs. Saville, England

ST. PETERSBURGH, DEC. 11TH, 17 --.

You WILL rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the
commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with
such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first
task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing
confidence in the success of my undertaking.

I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets
of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my
cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do
you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled
from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a
foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise,
my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to
be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it
ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty
and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible; its
broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual
splendour. There -- for with your leave, my sister, I will put
some trust in preceding navigators -- there snow and frost are
banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a
land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto
discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features
may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly
bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What
may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there
discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and
may regulate a thousand celestial observations, that require
only this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consist-
ent for ever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of
a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land
never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my en-
ticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger
or death, and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage
with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with
his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native
river. But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you

-13-

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Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Introduction- (to the 1831 Edition) 7
  • Letter 1 13
  • Letter 2 16
  • Letter 3 19
  • Letter 4 20
  • Chapter 1 27
  • Chapter 2 31
  • Chapter 3 36
  • Chapter 4 42
  • Chapter 5 48
  • Chapter 6 54
  • Chapter 7 60
  • Chapter 8 69
  • Chapter 9 76
  • Chapter 10 81
  • Chapter 11 87
  • Chapter 12 93
  • Chapter 13 98
  • Chapter 14 103
  • Chapter 15 108
  • Chapter 16 115
  • Chapter 17 122
  • Chapter 18 127
  • Chapter 19 134
  • Chapter 20 140
  • Chapter 21 148
  • Chapter 22 157
  • Chapter 23 165
  • Chapter 24 171
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