Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is, along with Bram Stoker's Dracula, the most important horror novel in history, inspiring countless imitators and spawning innumerable adaptations (Danny Boyle's stage version, pictured above, is the most recent critical fave). But the book's original manuscript has never been exhibited in the United States -- until now. More after the jump.
The main branch of the New York Public Library is (as I discovered when I was in the Big Apple last weekend to interview the cast of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) currently displaying pages from the original Frankenstein manuscript written in Shelley's own hand. It's part of a small exhibit titled "Shelley's Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet" focusing on Mary and her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their circle of literary friends. Onhand is a copy of the ultra rare first edition of Frankenstein, published in 1818, as well as such curiosities as a locket containing a lock of Mary Shelley's hair. There are only four pages from Frankenstein showcased, but they might just be the four most important pages in the book, describing the moment when the creature first awakes, and the scene, much later in the book, in which he is reunited with his creator Victor. But here's the catch: the exhibit only runs until this Sunday, the 24nd of June. So if you're anywhere near New York City this weekend, you NEED to check this out.