This volume includes the complete weird writings of Mary Shelley (1797-1851), who wrote the imperishable novel Frankenstein before she was twenty. This novel not only is a pioneering weird tale but also a foundational work of science fiction; its provocative notion that human life can be created in the laboratory is rich in complex moral overtones. Shelley went on to write shorter weird tales, including the reanimation stories "Valerius" and "Roger Dodsworth"; "Transformation," a story of psychic transference; and "The Mortal Immortal," about the quest for eternal life.
The Classics of Gothic Horror series seeks to reprint novels and stories from the leading writers of weird fiction over the past two centuries or more. Ever since the Gothic novels of the late 18th century, weird fiction has been a slender but provocative contribution to weird fiction. Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, the Victorian ghost story writers, the "titans" of the early twentieth century (Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft), the Weird Tales writers, and many others contributed to the development and enrichment of weird fiction as a literary genre, and their work deserves to be enshrined in comprehensive, textually accurate editions.
S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on weird fiction, has done exactly that in establishing this series. Using scholarly resources honed over decades of wide-ranging research, he has assembled volumes featuring not only the complete weird writings of the authors in question, but exhaustive bio-critical introductions and bibliographical data.
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