Frankenstein ENDNOTES


1 (p. 12) two other friends... and myself: The two friends that Percy Shelley (in the voice of Mary) has in mind are Byron and himself; one wonders if Percy meant to claim authorship of the work, which “would be far more acceptable to the public than anything I [meaning Mary] can ever hope to produce.” Polidori was also present but remains unmentioned here.

2 (p. 12) St. Petersburgh: St. Petersburg, capital of Russia from 1712 to 1918; a major seaport, its harbor is frozen for three to four months annually. (The city was called Leningrad from 1924 to 1991.)Dec. 11 th, 17-.: Leaving out dates was a nineteenth-century convention, though Shelley may have had explicit reasons for being subtle. In The Frankenstein Notebooks: A Facsimile Edition of Mary Shelley’s Manuscript Novel, 1816- 1817. New York: Garland, 1996, Charles E. Robinson develops a theory that Walton’s story begins about the date of Shelley’s conception and ends thirteen days after her birth.

3 (p. 13) country of eternal light: Robert Walton expects to find a warm and eternally light North Pole, and other works written during and after Shelley‘s time, including her husband’s 18 I 8 poem The Revolt of Islam (stanza 1, lines xlvii-liv) , indicate that this was a common belief.

4 (p. 14) I perused ... lifted it to heaven: The “I” of these passages about early literary influences refers as much to Walton as to Shelley herself, a voracious reader who was introduced to her parents’ radical intellectual circles at a young age. Based on the content of Walton’s letters, the poets who most influenced him seem to have been John Milton (1608-1674) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). Both Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667) and Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) tell the tales of beings who, like Walton, are driven by ego and ambition to the point of self-destruction.

5 (p. 15) St. Petersburgh and Archangel: Archangel, the city from which Walton rents his vessel and crew, is another major Russian seaport and the base for explorations of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route.

6 (p. 18) production of the most imaginative of modem poets: Walton is alluding to Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, line 408. The long poem tells the story of an ambitious mariner whose ship has been driven to the South Pole by a storm. After the mariner thoughtlessly shoots an albatross, things gradually begin to go wrong (though it is not clear that this turn of events was actually a consequence of killing the bird). Water runs out; a frightening ghost ship passes; the mariner’s crew begins to die off. While the despondent mariner looks down at the water and sees the water snakes, he unconsciously blesses them. Once he is able to pray, the mariner seems to be on the way to redemption. He survives the incident and confesses to and receives absolution from a hermit, but his penance is to live with his guilt and retell his tale to all who will listen. The poem can be read as a version of the myth of Prometheus: One who flies too high and “plays God” is destined to suffer grave consequences.

7 (p. 24) cannot begin life anew: These words might well have been Satan’s as he watched Adam and Eve leave Eden: “The world was all before them, where to choose / Their place of rest, and Providence their guide” (book 12, lines 646-647). This quote and all others from Paradise Lost in these notes are from John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose, edited by Merritt Y. Hughes, New York: Odyssey Press, 1957; for this quote, see line 903.

Chapter I

1 (p. 28) bonds of devoted affection: The father-daughter relationship of Victor’s parents may have been inspired by Shelley’s strong feelings for her widowed father. Noted Mary, “Until I knew [Percy] Shelley I may justly say that [my father] was my God-and I remember many childish instances of the excess of attachment I bore for him,” in The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 3 vols, edited by Betty T. Bennett, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980-1988, p. 295.

2 (p. 29) one train of enjoyment to me: This description of Victor’s upbringing is informed by one of the eighteenth-century’s most influential studies on pedagogy: Emile; or, On Education (1762), by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712- 1778). Shelley read the book in 1816; it also shaped her mother’s theories of female education in Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Chapter II

1 (p. 33) from the heroes of: Clerval’s reading shows off his taste for courtly romance, as opposed to Frankenstein’s more scientific interests. Roncesvalles, a mountain pass in the Pyrenees, is the alleged site of the death of the hero Ro land ; Arthur, the first king of Britain, and his knights, are the heroes of narratives by Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100-1154), Chrétien de Troyes (active 1170-1190), and Sir Thomas Malory (died 1471), among many others.

2 (p. 34) works of Cornelius Agrippa: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535), a German physician, wrote several books, including De occulta philosophia (A Defense of Magic; 1531). His mystical philosophies drew on Neoplatonic, cabalistic, and Christian traditions; he was persecuted during his lifetime for his occult beliefs.

3 (p. 35) Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus: Paracelsus, or Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), was a Swiss alchemist and physician who firmly claimed that it is possible to create human life-and gave instructions on how to do it. Albertus Magnus (c.1200-1280) was a German scholar, Dominican monk, and the teacher of Thomas Aquinas; he was made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1931.

4 (p. 35) unexplored ocean of truth: Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), an English physicist and mathematician, invented calculus and developed theories of gravitation and mechanics. Despite his many accomplishments, he allegedly said at the end of his life: “To myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” See In the Presence of a Center: Isaac Newton and His Times, by Gale Christianson, New York: The Free Press, 1984, p. 579.

5 (p. 3 6) obvious laws of electricity: The tree blasted by lightning is the first of many images of the elemental force of fire in Frankenstein (ice, too, features prominently in the novel). Frankenstein, who is enlightened in this moment, will later describe himself as a “blasted tree” (p. 143) and “blasted and miserable” (p. 168); in other words, he will come to regret the consequences of his newfound knowledge.Though electricity did not become available on a large commercial scale until the 1880s, several important discoveries were made during Shelley’s lifetime: Alessandro Volta experimented with electric currents as early as 1800, and Humphrey Davy developed the electroplating process in 1807.

Chapter III

1 (p. 38) university of Inglostadt: Ingolstadt, in Bavaria, was a university town from 1472 to 1800. Adam Weishaupt, a professor of canon law at Ingolstadt, founded the Order of the Illuminati there in 1776. This secret society favored free thinking and radical politics, and was alleged to have ties with the Jacobins. It was outlawed in 1785. The university moved to Landshut in 1800, then to Munich in 1826.

2 (p. 39) a sorrow which all have felt: Notably, Mary Shelley lived with such sorrow, coupled by guilt, her entire life; Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died about ten days after giving birth to her. The cause was that part of the placenta had not been removed properly from the birth canal and became infected.

3 (p. 40) Angel of Destruction: This is Satan, the fallen archangel of Paradise Lost, who pledges himself to the destruction of “this new Favorite / of Heav‘n, this Man of Clay” (book 9, lines 175-176)-and heads for Eve as soon as she is separated form Adam (book 9, lines 421 and following).

Chapter IV

1 (p. 47) a passage to life: In the fourth voyage of Sinbad the Sailor in The Thousand and One Nights, the Arabian Sinbad is buried alive with the corpse of his wife. Perceiving a distant light, he follows it and finds his way to freedom.

2 (p. 50) my creation: This description of Victor’s “labours” sounds remarkably like a the human gestation process: Nine months pass (“winter, spring, and summer”), he becomes very anxious and even feverish, and he looks forward to exercise and amusement once the “creation is complete.” Shelley herself had been through the process twice before she began Frankenstein.

Chapter V

1 (p. 51 ) his features: Frankenstein’s reaction to his creature is not unlike the emotions experienced by new mothers suffering from postpartum depression. The discolored skin barely covering the network of veins, watery (perhaps tearing) eyes, and “shrivelled complexion” sound not unlike the characteristics of a newborn, especially from the eyes of a mother subject to hormonal fluctuations and many new responsibilities. It should be noted that in February 1815, Shelley gave birth to a premature child who died unnamed (like the monster) about two weeks later. Her letters and journals indicate that she suffered both emotionally and physically, before and after the birth: “Dream that my little baby came to life again-that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it by the fire & it lived—I... awake & find no baby-I think about the little thing all day-not in good spirits,” she wrote in her journal on March 19. See The Journals of Mary Shelley: 1814-1844, vol. 1, p. 70.

2 (p. 52) my dead mother: The immediate substitution of Elizabeth for Frankenstein’s mother has some interesting implications. Frankenstein is subconsciously connecting his mother with his sister/lover; just why remains a question. Perhaps he is demonstrating his uncommonly close affection for his mother; perhaps he holds Elizabeth responsible for his mother’s death; perhaps he is foreshadowing (or even bringing on) Elizabeth’s death. This intriguing issue is examined variously by Paul Sherwin, Mary Poovey, and Margaret Homans in their essays in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, edited by Harold Bloom, New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

3 (p. 52) Dante could not have conceived: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) depicted horrible, doomed individuals and their terrible crimes and punishments in the Inferno, the first book of his trilogy The Divine Comedy (1310-1314).

4 (p. 53) “doth dose behind him tread”: On page 17 Robert Walton compares himself with Coleridge’s guilt-ridden mariner. Here, Frankenstein draws parallels between himself and the mariner, who has felt the passing of the curse but will never feel safe again (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, lines 446-451 ) .

5 (p. 53) “without Greek”: Clerval is thinking of the stubborn and self-satisfied schoolmaster of The Vicar of Wakefield ( 17 66) , by Oliver Goldsmith ( 17 3 0- 1774). The schoolmaster believes that “as I don’t know Greek, I do not believe there is any good in it”; likewise, Clerval’s business-minded father has trouble understanding his son’s interest in literature and culture.

6 (p. 56) cousin: In the 1818 text Elizabeth and Victor are cousins; Mary Shelley altered their relationship in 18 31, although she retained several references to “cousin,” probably as an endearment.

Chapter VI

1 (p. 57) our Ernest!: Ernest is Victor’s brother, but here Elizabeth speaks of him as if he were their child. Obviously “playing house,” Elizabeth drops even bigger hints at the end of the letter, gossiping about other marriages and relationships.

2 (p. 58) beauty of Angelica: In Orlando Furioso (1532) by Ludovico Ariosto (1474- 1535), Orlando’s fascination with the beautiful, married Angelica precipitates the madness alluded to in the title.

3 (p. 62) manly and heroical poetry: Clerval strikes a Byronic pose here. The “oriental romances” Byron published from 1812 to 1815 (including The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and Lara) confirmed his celebrity status as a poet in England.

Chapter VII

1 (p. 64) William is dead!: William was also the name of the Shelleys’ first son, who was born in January 1816 (before Mary began Frankenstein) and died in 1819, after the novel was published.

2 (p. 67) “palaces of nature”: The description of the mountains is from Byron’s poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, canto 3, stanza 62, line 2. See Byron’s Poetry, Frank D. McConnell, New York: Norton, 1978, p.64.

3 (p. 67) summit of Mont Blanc: In his great poem Mont Blanc, written in the summer of 1816, Percy Shelley uses this mountain peak, the highest in France, to represent the actuating force of the universe-the “Power,” as he describes it in lines 16 and 96 of the work.

4 (p. 68) faint flashes: Frankenstein is describing a violent thunderstorm ranging through various mountain ranges in Switzerland (including the peaks of Saleve and Mole). Flashes of lightning, first mentioned on page 36, inspired Frankenstein’s creation of the monster and precede and accompany the monster appearance.

5 (p. 70) kneeling by the coffin: The honor paid to Victor’s mother is reminiscent of William Godwin’s worship of Mary Wollstonecraft long after her death. He, too, erected a “shrine” to her in his and Mary’s home, and published Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1798.

Chapter IX

1 (p. 81 ) tempted to plunge: Frankenstein’s suicidal thoughts were probably inspired by The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). The popular book, in which Werther, the protagonist, becomes so despondent over an unrequited love that he kills himself, triggered a rash of suicides in the early 1800s: Young men were found dead, dressed in Werther’s distinctive clothing and often carrying a copy of Goethe’s book.

2 (p. 84) the mighty Alps: Mary Shelley is influenced here by her husband’s poem Mont Blanc. In the second stanza, he writes of the “Ravine of Arve dark, deep Ravine ... Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down/ From the ice gulfs that gird its secret throne” (lines 12, 16-17).

Chapter X

1 (p. 87) go without a guide: In deciding to ascend a mountain peak alone, Frankenstein follows in the footsteps of many a Romantic poet before him. The most notable of these was William Wordsworth (1770-1850), whose ascent of Snowdon in Wales and the great revelation he experiences at the peak is the culminating moment of his great autobiographical poem, The Prelude (1850).

2 (p. 87) “We rest ... but mutability!”: The quotation, the last stanza of Percy Shelley’s “Mutability,” is well timed. The poem explores the certainty of change in human existence; sure enough, Frankenstein’s sense of peace and oneness with the scene before him is about to be violently disrupted.

3 (p. 89) I shall again be virtuous: “God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil:” Thus begins Rousseau’s Emile. (See chap. 1, note 2.)

4 (p. 90) the eternal justice of man!: As evinced by this passage and many others, Shelley is in a dialogue with her famous father throughout Frankenstein; note that the book is dedicated “To William Godwin, Author of Political Justice, Caleb Williams, etc.” (See, above, Introduction, note 1.) Both Godwin’s political philosophy and his novel inform the story and messages of Frankenstein, though the influence of Political Justice is most pervasive. “Justice is reciprocal,” writes Godwin in chapter 2 of that work. “If it be just that I should confer a benefit, it is just that another man should receive it, and, if I withhold from him that to which he is entitled, he must justly complain.” Recognizing the inequalities of his master’s and his own situation, the monster takes Godwin’s advice and speaks up.

5 (p. 91 ) duties of a creator: This flash of conscience on Frankenstein’s part may have been inspired by Shelley’s reading of her mother’s great work. In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft reminds parents of their shaping influence on children: “A great proportion of the misery that wanders, in hideous forms, around the world, is allowed to arise from the negligence of parents. See A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft, edited by Carol H. Poston, New York: Norton, 1975, p. 154.

Chapter XI

1 (p. 92) the original era of my being: In the pages that follow, remembering the order of his “birth” and development, the monster roughly follows the biblical order of creation in the book of Genesis: perceiving strong light (creation of light, 1:3), walking on land and discovering water (earth and seas, 1:10), eating berries (vegetation, 1:12), recognizing the movement of the sun and moon (the greater and lesser lights for day and night, 1: 16), dehghting in the “litde winged animals” (birds and fish, 1:21), and coming into contact with man (human life, 1:27).

2 (p. 95) lake of fire: The monster here demonstrates his knowledge of Paradise Lost, in which Satan’s troops flood the new kingdom of Pandemonium they have erected in Hell (book 1, lines 670-732 ) .

Chapter XII

1 (p. 103) the ass and the lap-dog: In Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables (book 4, chap. 5), the lapdog is petted for fawning on its master, but the ass is punished severely when he attempts to emulate the dog’s behavior. See Fables of La Fontaine, 2 vols., translated by Elizur Wright, Jr., New York: Derby and Jackson, 1860, vol. 1, pp. 137-138.

Chapter XIII

1 (p. 106) Volney’s Ruins of Empires: The monster’s introduction to history and philosophy was written by Constantin François Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney (1757-1820), a revolutionary and Napoleonic senator. Les Ruines; ou, Meditations sur les revolutions des empires ( 1791 ) was a widely read series that elaborated on the count’s radical thoughts.

Chapter XV

1 (p. 114) the books: The first three books the monster perused were all part of Shelley’s reading the previous year, and they profoundly affected her shaping of the monster as well as the text. Milton’s Paradise Lost is quoted and referenced throughout Frankenstein; the monster and Victor both sympathize closely with Milton’s Satan, the “overreacher” and outcast. The Greek essayist Plutarch (c. A.D. 46-125) is most famous for his Parallel Lives, a collection of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans. The English translation of Plutarch’s Lives profoundly affected English literature, particularly Shakespeare’s plays. Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (see chap. 9, note 1 ) popularized the new emotional awareness of the Romantic age-a radical departure from the order and control exemplified by Enlightenment writers. The monster’s expressiveness and passion were probably inspired in part by Werther’s great despair and dramatic suicide.

2 (p. 115) “the path of my departure was free”: Percy Shelley’s poem “Mutability,” quoted on page 87 (see chap. X, note 2), is referenced again here (the monster slightly misquotes the third-to-last line). Victor’s creation has discovered for himself the opportunities for change and growth in his life but mourns his lack of guidance, sympathy, and support.

3 (p. 115) peaceable lawgivers: Reading Plutarch’s Lives gave the monster the ability to name-drop in this way. Numa Pomplius (715-673 B.C.) was the second king of Rome; Solon (sixth century B.C.) was an Athenian poet and statesman ; Lycurgus (390-324 B.C.) was also an Athenian statesman. These three historical figures are distinguished from Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome (with Remus), and Theseus, a legendary Athenian hero.

4 (p. 1 17) Adain’s supplication to his Creator: The monster is remembering either the quote that found its way onto the tide page of Frankenstein (Paradise Lost, book 10, lines 743-745) or another one from the same work (book 8, lines 379-397).

Chapter XVI

1 (p. 121) Cursed, cursed creator!: The monster evokes Job’s agony several times in his speech. Though Job himself never went so far as to curse his creator, he does exclaim, “Let the day perish wherein I was born” (the Bible, Job 3:3; King James Version), continuing with “Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?” (Job 3 :11 ) .

2 (p. 121 ) bore a hell within me: The monster’s pronouncement is an echo of Satan’s in Paradise Lost: “Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell” (book 4, line 7 S ) .

3 (p. 123) enveloped by the flames: The inflamed tree branch brings to mind Frankenstein’s “electric” moment of enlightenment and the blasted tree in chapter II. Whereas the creator was infatuated with the creative force of fire, the created is determined to utilize its destructive capabilities.

Chapter XVIII

1 (p. 138) During this voyage ... occupy the scene: Mary and Percy Shelley made a similar trip down the Rhine River in 1814; it is recounted in Mary Shelley’s History of a Six Weeks’ Tour, published in 1817. Clerval’s descriptions of his visits to French lakes and mountains in the next paragraph are based on more recollections of 1814 that are included in Shelley’s travelogue of that trip.

2 (p. 139) “very poetry of nature”: Shelley herself notes that the quote is from “Rimini” (1816), by the English Romantic poet Leigh Hunt (1784-1859). The original “poet of nature” was Wordsworth (Percy Shelley’s poem “To Wordsworth,” written in 1816, begins by invoking the “Poet of Nature”). From his chivalrous flights of fancy in chapter II to his Byronic orientalism in chapter VI and his current interest in nature poetry and the sympathetic imagination, Clerval continues to expand his literary horizons. In the quote from “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” (lines 76-83), Wordsworth recalls his instinctive connection to nature in his youth; though he no longer possesses it, he claims to have developed a new, mature sympathy for humanity.

Chapter XIX

1 (p. 141) his plan: Clerval’s interest in colonizing India demonstrates that he has inherited some of his father’s business acumen after all. The British Empire in India was initiated by Robert Clive’s victory at Plassey in 17 5 7 ; by 1818 the British controlled nearly all of the country south of the Sutlej River and had reduced their most powerful Indian opposition to vassalage.

2 (p. 142) the beginning of October: On page 140, Frankenstein claimed to have first seen “the white cliffs of Britain” in late December. Either he is confused (thus demonstrating himself to be an unreliable narrator), or Shelley herself has made an error.

3 (p. 142) Falkland ... Goring: Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland (1610-1643), was a scholar and moderate royalist and the secretary of state to Charles I; he deliberately went to his death at the battle of Newbury in 1643. George, Baron Goring (1608-1657), was an ambitious (and unscrupulous) royalist general.

4 (p. 143) illustrious Hampden: Frankenstein is momentarily inspired by the story of John Hampden (1594-1643), a parliamentarian who was famous for his opposition to Charles I and died for his beliefs.

5 (p. 143) cabinets of natural history: The reference is probably to grottoes, such as the High Tor Grotto between Matlock and Madock Bath.

6 (p. 144) the various lakes: Clerval and Frankenstein are now visiting the Lake District, a popular tourist destination and home and inspiration to Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, and other “Lake Poets” in the early 1800s.

Chapter XX

1 (p. 149) on your wedding-night: This ominous and often-repeated line has several implications. Most obviously, the monster seems to be warning of his interference with Frankenstein’s marital plans. Additionally, since Frankenstein has just destroyed the monster’s hopes of having a wedding night of his own, the monster’s desire to be with Frankenstein during this time seems strangely intimate, and even hints of incest.

Chapter XXI

1 (p. 163) laudanum: First compounded by Paracelsus, laudanum is a mixture of opium and alcohol that was considered to be a healthful elixir. Many artists and writers experimented with the addictive substance, including Byron, Polidori, and the Shelleys. Hallucination was one of its effects, and Frankenstein experiences terrible nightmares once he doubles his dose.

Chapter XXII

1 (p. 165) sea of ice: Frankenstein last visited the Mer de Glace at Chamounix before meeting and speaking with the monster for the first time (p. 87).

Chapter XXIII

1 (p. 173) on its bridal bier: The image of Elizabeth’s body thrown across the bed was inspired by The Nightmare ( 17 81 ) , a painting by the artist Henry Fuseli, who frequented the intellectual circles of Shelley’s parents. See Shelley: The Pursuit, by Richard Holmes, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975, plate 6.

2 (p. 173) the breath had ceased: This scene was foreshadowed in Frankenstein’s nightmare following the creation of the monster that fateful November night (p. 52; see chap. V, note 2). In both instances, Victor attempts to embrace Elizabeth but discovers a corpse in his arms instead.

3 (p. 177) you know not what it is you say: Frankenstein’s last spoken words before he begins his pursuit of the monster are an echo of Jesus’ pronouncement when he is brought to Calvary to be crucified: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (the Bible, Luke 23:34, King James Version).

Chapter XXIV

1 (p. 179) that now torments me: Frankenstein’s pledge for vengeance on the monster mirrors the monster’s cry for justice on page 149. The creator has also switched places with his creation and is now the pursuer instead of the pursued.

2 (p. 179) Tartary: Tatary, or Tatarstan, as it is known today, is a vast region in central and western Siberia. It is interesting to note that, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, Tartary is a variant of Tartarus, the infernal abyss below Hades where Zeus hurled the Titans.

3 (p. 181) the Mediterranean: In 400 B.C. the Athenian writer Xenophon (431- 362 B.C.) led some ten thousand Greeks to safety by the sea, after the Persian rebel prince they had been supporting was defeated. See The Persian Expedition, by Xenophon, translated by Rex Warner, Middlesex, England. Penguin, 1972, pp. 177-220.

4 (p. 186) like the archangel: In describing his fall, Frankenstein compares himself with Milton’s Satan, who, in Paradise Lost, cast out of heaven, fell down to “bottomless perdition, there to dwell/In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire” (book 1, lines 47-48).

5 (p. 190) The die is cast: In Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the figures of Death and Life-in-Death cast dice for the mariner, and Life-in-Death wins (lines 195-198). When Walton agrees to turn back instead of forge on, he is saving his life but, as an ambitious man with thwarted desires, is also entering his own sort of living hell.

6 (p. 194) My heart was fashioned: As on page 88, the monster’s personal philosophy brings to mind the first line of Rousseau’s Emile. He wishes his creator had taken the advice Rousseau proffers in the third paragraph of book 1: “Cultivate and water the young plant before it dies. Its fruits will one day be your delights. Form an enclosure around your child’s soul at an early date.” See Emile; or, On Education, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, translated by Allan Bloom, New York: Basic Books, 1979, p. 38.

7 (p. 194) became my good: See Satan’s declaration in Paradise Lost: “Evil, be thou my good” (book 4, line 110).

8 (p. 195) I am alone: The monster is correct in assuming his situation is even worse that Satan’s; even after his fall, Satan still had the support and companionship of the throng of angels who rebelled alongside him.

9 (p. 196) this injustice: The monster’s sense of the unequal justice with which he has been served recalls Godwin’s stance on the rights of man in Political Justice: ”The rights of one man cannot clash with or be destructive of the rights of another; for this, instead of rendering the subject an important branch of truth and morality, as the advocates of the rights of man certainly understand it to be, would be to reduce it to a heap of unintelligible jargon and inconsistency” (book 2, chap. 5). See An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, by William Godwin, edited by Raymond A. Preston, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926, p. 61.

10 (p. 197) my ashes: For a man whose troubles were instigated by harnessing the power of fire and who came to think of himself as a “blasted tree,” cremation seems an appropriate end. What is strangely haunting about Shelley’s reference to a funeral pyre is that her husband, Percy, would be cremated after his death by drowning in 1822 (recall, too, the foreshadowed death of their son William; see chap. VII, note 1). For an artistic representation of Shelley’s cremation, see Mary Shelley, by Miranda Seymour, New York: Grove Press, 2000, plate 44: The Funeral of Shelley (1889), by Louis-Edouard-Paul Fournier.