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Frankenstein Critics Analysis

There are many critics that have come up after reviewing the novel written by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The boundaries of ethics and its relation to science has been pointed out in the novel as well as the content illustrating the current society. According to the novel, the society and science is perceived in unique manner and the story is easy to interpret and adapt to current real-life situations. However, questions have come up on the legitimacy of the sources used in this writing in 1818 by many publications as a result of missing information within the development of the story and the level of literary skills used. In this paper I will discuss some critical publications including Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine and The Literary Panorama that tend to argue the true source of writing the novel is not legitimate even though no accurate evidence is given.

One of the sources used to criticize Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. It was developed by William Blackwood who later joined the Scottish market to work in the publishing of religious and historical magazines after he worked for Bell and Bradfute for six years. As a result, the British magazine was produced between 1817 and 1980. His Edinburgh magazine credibility is boosted since he had a god background in the publishing industry thus increasing the legitimacy of the magazine.

Based on the thesis provided by the Edinburgh article, the novel is a romantic fiction of what Mary would like the world to be. This thesis is later proven to be true because the article claims that Frankenstein was written by Percy Shelley, Mary’s husband and she is not the legitimate writer of the novel. In most cases, comparative analysis of previous works led to the formulation of the thesis. For example, according to William, the overall description of how the human mind works and its power was effectively present in William Godwin’s novel, Saint Leon. Moreover, Percy Shelley was related to William Godwin as his son in law. (The Edinburgh Magazine, pg. 250).

According to the evidence provided in the article, I do not think that it provides enough reasons to support its claims that the actual author of Frankenstein is Percy Shelley. However, conclusions can be made that the writing of Frankenstein was somehow influenced by the the association between Percy and Mary. Nevertheless, these claims cannot be accepted due to lack of factual observative evidence and they are just circumstantial evidence.

The Literary Panorama and National Register is the second critic published in June 1818. This article supports the idea presented by William Godwin that the legitimate owner of the Frankenstein is Percy. Moreover, according to this article, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a novel that has imitated other writings that were popular during that time (The Literary Panorama 1818, pg. 412). Additionally, the magazine claims that as a result of many inconsistencies in the development of characters in the novel, it is evident that its legitimacy is not clear. According to The Literary Panorama, the writer of Frankenstein could not have been Percy, but another person will less knowledge in that field.

Based on the claims and evidence provide in the article, the information is based on circumstances rather than substantial facts. In addition, Frankenstein has become vital in modern fictional education compared to St. Leon thus it is not fair to say that it was a feeble attempt. It is evident that the critics of 1818 did not understand that writings such as Frankenstein could be useful in the future they only focused in the present.

It is evident that the two articles discussed above claim that Frankenstein was written by Percy or another person and not Mary Shelley. However, the articles provide circumstantial evidence rather than objective facts. Also, they claim that Frankenstein is not an original creative work because it is too like Frankenstein despite its ability to showcase talent.

Both articles were published in 1818 and they tend to question the talent of the writer as well as the legitimacy regarding the actual source of the work. The main question was whether Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was original, whether it was a creative work or an imitation of work from other writers that were related to Percy Shelly or Mary. Despite the opinions presented by the two articles, Frankenstein remains important in the current times, and it must be appreciated in all dimensions. Therefore, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine and The Literary Panorama fail to question the legitimacy of the novel because both do not present factual evidence but rather comparative evidence.


The Literary Panorama and National Register: (1 June 1818): 411-414. StraighterLine. Web. Accessed 26 July 2019.

Review of Frankenstein,” The Edinburgh Magazine 2 (March 1818): 613-20. StraighterLine. Web. Accessed 26 July 2019.

Shelley, M. (2001). Frankenstein [1818]. New York: Oxford.


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