Frankenstein, retold by Jeremy Taylor

The story of Frankenstein is pretty well known by most people but it was a joy to work with the original by Mary Shelley. Shelley started the book when she was 18 and it was published when she was just 21. I have tried to retain as much of Shelley’s delightful prose yet making the story accessible to readers whose English may not be brilliant. 

Excerpt from Frankenstein

From that day on, natural philosophy, and in particular, chemistry, became my subject of study. I read all the books recommended by M. Waldman, books full of genius. I attended the lectures and got to know the men of science at the university. I even found that I could learn from M. Krempe. I didn’t like his appearance or his manners but he talked a lot of sense and had real information. In M. Waldman, I found a true friend. He was always there to answer my questions which he did with kindness and understanding.

   There were many times when I worked through the night in my laboratory. My passion surprised my fellow students, and my abilities surprised my masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a smile on his face, how Cornelius Agrippa was getting on. M. Waldman, on the other hand, was enthusiastic about my progress. Two years went by, during which I did not visitGeneva. My time and energy were devoted to discoveries which I hoped to make. In scientific studies there is always something new to discover. After two years of study, I made some discoveries in the improvement of chemical instruments. I gained the respect of those at the university and it became clear to me that I had little more to learn from the professors atIngolstadt. I was planning to return to my friends inGenevawhen something happened which made my stay longer.

   I was very interested in the human body, in fact any animal that was living. I often asked myself the question, where does life come from? It is an important question and no one has ever answered it. I decided to devote my efforts to the study of physiology. To study the causes of life, we also need to study death. I had no supernatural horrors. A churchyard was just a place where there were bodies with no more life and were now worm food. Now I wanted to study how bodies decay. I spent many days and nights in mortuaries. I studied the change from life to death and from death to life. Then suddenly, one day, it came to me – an idea so simple yet so incredible. After days and nights working harder than I have ever worked before, I discovered the cause of life and more, I could give life to lifeless matter.

   It was an incredible surprise for me. But I was very happy to have reached such a goal after so much hard work. I am sure you would like to know the secret that I discovered, but that is not possible. Listen to the end of my story and I am sure you will understand my decision. I do not want to lead you to your own destruction and misery. Learn from me, how dangerous knowledge can be. Understand how much happier a man is who believes his town to be the world, than a man who wants to be greater than his nature will allow.

   When I found that I had this power, I thought for a long time how I should use it. I knew it would be extraordinarily difficult to build a body with all its fibres, muscles and veins. Perhaps I should try my hand at a less complex animal. But no, my first successes made me believe in my own powers. I was sure that there would be problems, but each day I spent working, I knew I was moving closer to future success.

   I began to create a human being, not small, as I first thought, but a giant, almost two and a half metres tall. After several months collecting and arranging my materials, I began.

   It is hard to describe my feelings at that time. I was about to create a new species. One which would thank me as its creator. Much more than a father, my creation would be full of gratitude. These thoughts supported me as I worked ever harder. My cheeks were pale, and my body had grown thin. Each time I thought I would succeed, I failed, yet still, I knew I would succeed, perhaps in one hour or one day. I was the only person who possessed the secret. 

The book can be bought from Wayzgoose Press as either a paperback or as an e-book. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here