The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein

The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein In The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein Theodore Roszak offers us a subversive erotically charged counterpart to Mary Shelley s classic Frankenstein It is presented in the form of a secret autobio

  • Title: The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein
  • Author: Theodore Roszak
  • ISBN: 9780679437321
  • Page: 397
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Theodore Roszak offers us a subversive, erotically charged counterpart to Mary Shelley s classic, Frankenstein It is presented in the form of a secret autobiography, a soul baring document intended for the eyes of a single reader Elizabeth s brother, lover, and spiritual other half Victor Frankenstein The writings are discoveredIn The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Theodore Roszak offers us a subversive, erotically charged counterpart to Mary Shelley s classic, Frankenstein It is presented in the form of a secret autobiography, a soul baring document intended for the eyes of a single reader Elizabeth s brother, lover, and spiritual other half Victor Frankenstein The writings are discovered by Sir Robert Walton, the Arctic explorer who, in Mary Shelley s original novel, recorded Victor s deathbed confession Walton becomes obsessed with learning the full story behind the mad doctor s last words From the tattered pages of Elizabeth s journal and the scattered clues Walton finds as he re creates her life, a compelling tale of moral horror unfolds.In her memoirs, Elizabeth emerges as a spirited woman far ahead of her times Rescued as a child from the Gipsies by the brilliant Lady Caroline Frankenstein, she is raised as young Victor s adopted sister Under Lady Caroline s guidance, Elizabeth is initiated into a circle of cunning women outsiders would call them witches who are the guardians of long forgotten pagan ceremonies and healing arts She and Victor are schooled in ancient teachings that have been transmitted through female adepts who understand the mysteries of nature The goal is two united the two in the chemical marriage, a step toward the union of all opposites that will restore the Earth to balance The two youths pursue their education through the shadowy realms of alchemical lore and tantric sexual rites until a moment of weakness disrupts the quest Tormented by shame and anger, Victor turns to the unhallowed arts that result in his misbegotten Creature, the vengeful fiend who will haunt Elizabeth s fatal wedding night.Of this bold, feminist retelling of Frankenstein, Theodore Roszak writes, In speaking through Elizabeth Frankenstein, the character Mary Shelley modeled after herself, I hope at last to give Mary the voice she was not free to adopt in her own day It is the voice of a rebellious Romanticism, striking for its passionate candor, particularly in counterpoint to the words of Sir Robert Walton, the coldly analytical scientist editor of Elizabeth s journal This novel s rich historical texture captures the revolutionary turbulence of the Age of Reason, an era that parallels our own time with its reckless desire for unlimited progress and the total domination of nature In its exploration of the sexual politics of modern science, The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein raises unsettling questions about man woman relations Both as a Gothic tale and as a tragic love story, it reminds us that the fate of the Earth is rooted in the passions of the human heart.

    One thought on “The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein”

    1. First of all, let me say that this novel is well written (although a bit repetitive). The male author produces a very believable female voice which is distinct from the voice of the persnickety “editor” – not many authors can do that.Readers of many books, for example Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon” will be familiar with the Druidic concept of “The Great Marriage”, “Marriage With the Land”, or “The Sacred Marriage” as Dan Brown calls it in “The DaVinci Code” [...]

    2. --From Publishers weekly. How ironic that a woman who wrote as a man should, after nearly 200 years, be given such ardent voice by a man writing as a woman.

    3. The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein (1995) subversively retells the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein from the viewpoint of the hubristic Scientist's wife.

    4. Finally, the truth about Victor Frankenstein's wife! Witches dance naked in the woods, a crone masturbates a teenage boy with the aid of her familiar, bizarre sex rites, and a woman looks into the face of a miscarried fetus and sees the face of the monster Frankenstein. A must read! I can't believe it was written by a man!

    5. This was an interesting book. The reader gets a chance to find out about Elizabeth's life, from her birth to death. I was hoping to get some insight into Victor. What motivated him to do the things he did? But this was Elizabeth's story to tell, her discoveries, her thoughts, her emotions. The book could have used some editing. There was a section of the book that I thought was strange and out of place. But, in spite of that, it was a fascinating look at a story that has endured and captured our [...]

    6. i read the hardcover version years ago, and to this day it is one of my favorite books of all time. such a beautiful concept of the 'flipside' of a classic novel without changing the original story's meaning or character. the story is retold from the view of the mad doctor's wife and is such a compelling and vivid story of her childhood and life leading up to the creation of the monster and the eventual outcome but also manages to feel completely original due to all the non-frankenstein story li [...]

    7. I agree with the review that said the last 50 pages were the best. The book did not have much to do with the Frankenstein novel.

    8. A very strange book. A little drawn out in my opinion. Not sure that it added anything to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

    9. Where do I begin? It has been some years since I read Mary Shelley's original tale of the monster. Within those pages, I found a man whose hubris to attain god-like power over life and death to be tempered with the anguish of losing those he loved most to death. This, then, was what I took from Frankenstein. Victor was a monster, but one with the best of intentions.This volume leaves me somewhat disturbed. I'm not sure where exactly he got the idea that anything in his book could be remotely con [...]

    10. The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein follows in the footsteps of Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and Alexander Ripley's Scarlett - it is a sequel to a classic written by a different author. Unlike Rhys and Ripley, this novel is less than a compelling continuation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The premise of Roszak's novel is that Robert Walton, the narrator of Shelley's novel, continued researching Frankenstein's tale and found the diary and letters of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the bride that died [...]

    11. nwhytevejournal/2324190ml[return][return]Won the 1995 Tiptree Award. I wasn't quite sure what to expect; it's not terribly closely related to Shelley's own Frankenstein (and I'm baffled by the numerous online reviews whining that it's not a "sequel" - most of the book is set before the action of the original novel, so if anything it would be a prequel; but in reality it is an extended meditation on the character of Elizabeth Frankenstein and what might have shaped her life and Victor's to their [...]

    12. I don't knowis book was a little disjointed to me. The first part about all the wiccan, and alchemical stuff was kind of interestingd not just a little wierd the thing about the mother and laying her beliefs on her kids to the extreme! The second half, where all that stuff drops by the wayside and Victor goes off to schoold Elizabeth, I don't know, she bugged me. I did think it was interesting to read the narrators thoughts on, or the spin he put on what Victor related to him as he lay dying, an [...]

    13. Recueillie par la baronne Frankenstein, la jeune Elizabeth est introduite dans le monde secret des sorcières et initiée à l'alchimie, aux lois de la nature et à celles du corps humain. De son côté, Victor, fils légitime de la baronne, ne jure que par la raison et le savoir : il prétend pouvoir créer une vie qui ne naîtrait pas du ventre de la femme mais de la science. C'est finalement un monstre que va créer ce nouveau Prométhée Après La Conspiration des ténèbres, Theodore Roszak [...]

    14. Le style est remarquable, si bien restitué qu’on croirait une histoire vraie. La psychologie d’Elizabeth est si bien exploitée qu’on a du mal à croire que ce roman n’est qu’une fiction et non pas une véritable autobiographie. Même si l’on peut avoir l’impression qu’il ne se passe pas grand chose, les pages se tournent toutes seules et on veut savoir la suite rapidement. C’est un roman qui nous offre une perspective différente et des détails en plus sur cette histoire tou [...]

    15. Not too bad on its own merits, I guess, but it doesn't mesh well with the original novel. There isn't a single mention of Justine or her death, despite how anguished Elizabeth seemed to be over it in "Frankenstein." There isn't even a single mention of Victor's little brother, William, who was strangled by the Monster. In this novel, the Monster apparently didn't kill anyone. There is also not a single mention of Victor's boyhood friend, Clerval.Those were three important figures in the original [...]

    16. Received this book as a thank you for giving a special tour of the Mark Twain House to the publisher, in preparation for a new Huckleberry Finn release. He told me that they hoped it would be the next Huck FinnHA! I struggled to finish it, for completeness sake. The general question is, why would anyone try to continue the story of Frankenstein. Shelley told it all and it's all a warning anyway. Telling this side of the story, such as it is, undoes the intent of the original story.Plus, it was j [...]

    17. Written as a sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, told from the POV of Victor's wife with similar framing to the original, this novel portrays both Frankensteins as early converts to Gnosticism and Alchemy. Quite a stretch, but it is labeled as "fiction" for a reason. Quite engaging if one is into that sort of thing.

    18. If you like memoirs, fictionalized in part or wholly, you will enjoy this book. I was capt ivated by the woman's story especially because it is in her own words. Knowing she's doomed, stays for love of the one who unknowingly fashions her fate. Gripping from beginning to end.

    19. I always like it when an author steals famous characters and plots and shows the other side of the story. For that reason, this book appealed to me. It was fantastic writing, but I liked seeing another point of view.

    20. Det var skægt at læse en lag-på-lag bog, hvor sømanden der nedskrev Frankensteins fortælling før han døde nu også nedskriver Elizabeths fortælling, baseret på hendes dagbøger, men med sømandens egne bidrag.

    21. Interesting look at the story from another point of view. Very much about the power of women. My favorite quote "The blood is our strength, for it is the power of the heavens and the Earth within us"

    22. I enjoyed it - even though I knew how it would end. I think the author did a great job with his research of the time period, and explaining why people in the original did what they did.

    23. I felt it an attempt to capitalize on the success of "Mists of Avalon". The idea is there, but it goes in a predictable direction.

    24. Such a disappointment. This makes Elizabeth nearly into a cult member or a wiccan of some sort. Did not like it.

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