Cover image for Hideous progenies : dramatizations of Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to the present
Title:
Hideous progenies : dramatizations of Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to the present
Author:
Forry, Steven Earl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
xv, 311 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1220 Lexile.
ISBN:
9780812281316
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PR5397.F73 F67 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

The Frankenstein we know is not Mary Shelley's creature at all. Rather it is an amalgam of over 200 years of images and dramatizations that range from the ghoulish fiends of nineteenth-century sensation dramas to Boris Karloff's movie monster to Mel Brooks's tap-dancing giant. These versions treat the Frankenstein myth with varying levels of horror, hysteria, and humor, but all of them attest to its enduring power.

In Hideous Progenies , Steven Earl Forry offers a historical overview of the legend's transformation over time--beginning with Shelley's original and the earliest popular dramatizations of it (which transformed the myth, adding a burlesque quality and simplifying its moral allegory) and continuing on through the advent of cinema. He also documents this development with actual texts of seven pre-1931 dramatizations, a sampling of cartoons and playbills, and a shooting script for the first cinematic version, Thomas Edison's Frankenstein (1910). Forry's rare materials and interesting survey offer a valuable resource for scholars and students of theater history, literary history, and popular culture.


Author Notes

Steven Earl Forry is Public Affairs Manager at Squibb Corporation in Princeton, New Jersey.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

This documented study of the transformation of Shelley's original creation into dramatic representations over a 200-year period focuses on key examples from more than 90 specifically enumerated by the author. In two parts plus an appendix (music from Vampire's Victim, 1887), Part 1 provides a historical survey of the dramas from 1823 to the "dawn of the celluloid image" created by Boris Karloff in 1931. In three chapters the change in the myth is carefully charted, offering insights into the reductive process, the popularizing of the story, its diffusion for the general populace, and, finally, the competition between film and stage versions. A final chapter looks briefly at post-Karloffian dramatizations. Forry provides analyses of various genres used by writers in dramatizing Frankenstein (in particular melodrama and burlesque), performers who specialized in playing the creature (especially T.P. Cooke and Fred Leslie), and ways in which the story's theme and moral allegory were treated by authors in England and France. The texts of seven British dramatizations, 1823-1930, complete the volume, along with bibliography, index, and illustrations. As a fascinating investigation of one of the most intriguing characters of the imagination, this excellent study, of interest to students of theater history, popular culture, and literary history, belongs in all university libraries. -D. B. Wilmeth, Brown University


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Notesp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Part I Historical Introductionp. 1
1 Melodrama and Burlesque: 1823 to 1826p. 3
2 Frankenstein Amid the Populace: Victorian Renderings of Shelley's Novel, 1832 -1900p. 43
3 Reviving Frankenstein in the Twentieth Century: Drama and Cinema, 1900-1930p. 79
4 Afterword and List of Plays, 1821-1986p. 107
Textual Notep. 131
Richard Brinsley Peake Presumption; Or, the Fate of Frankenstein (1823)p. 135
Richard Brinsley Peake Presumption; Or, the Fate of Frankenstein (1823)p. 136
Scene Iip. 140
Scene Iip. 142
Scene Iip. 144
Scene Iip. 145
Scene Iip. 147
Scene Iip. 150
Scene Iip. 152
Scene Iip. 153
Scene 11p. 157
Scene Iiip. 157
Scene Iiip. 158
Scene Iiip. 159
Richard Brinsley Peake Another Piece of Presumption (1823)p. 161
Scene 2nd Antechamber in the House of Frakinstitchp. 169
Act 2nd Scene 1st a Room in Frankinstitch's House Mrs. Frankinstitch Discoveredp. 170
Frank-In-Steam; Or, the Modern Promise to Pay (1824)p. 177
Scence 2nd Act 1stp. 180
Scene 3rd Act 1stp. 180
Scene 3rd Act 1stp. 182
Scene 3rd Act 1stp. 183
Scene 3rd Act 1stp. 184
Scene 3rd Act 1stp. 186
Frankenstein; Or, the Man and the Monster (1826)p. 187
Frankenstein; Or, the Man and the Monster (1826)p. 190
Scene Iip. 192
Scene Iiip. 194
Scene Ivp. 194
Scene Ivp. 195
Scene Ivp. 196
Scene Ivp. 196
Scene Viiip. 197
Act Ii. Scene Ip. 198
Act Ii. Scene Ip. 198
Scene Iip. 200
Scene Iiip. 201
Scene Ivp. 202
Scene Vip. 203
Scene Vp. 203
Scene Vip. 204
Scene Vip. 204
The Monster and Magician; Or, the Fate of Frankeinstein: (1826)p. 205
The Monster and Magician; Or, the Fate of Frankeinstein: (1826)p. 207
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 210
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 212
Act Ii. Scene the First.--The Forestp. 216
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 219
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 222
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 222
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 223
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 225
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 226
Scene Ip. 227
Richard and Barnabas Brough Frankenstein; Or, the Model Man (1849)p. 227
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 234
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 237
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 239
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 240
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 245
Scene the Second.--Lodge in the Castle of Frankensteinp. 246
Frankenstein (1930)p. 251
Frankenstein (1930)p. 251
Act Twop. 268
Act Twop. 282
Appendix Music from Vampire's Victim: (1887)p. 287
Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 307

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