Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

I AM by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.

As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant, who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition, and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship, and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them. He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.

Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself; and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street, near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes; but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant's house. The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only be

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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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