Women in Horror Month Spotlight on Mary Shelley

While kicking off Women in Horror Month, I would feel a bit remiss if I did not to recognize the contributions of the most influential women in horror history, Mary Shelley.  2018 marks the 200th anniversary of her iconic masterpiece Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. Released in January of 1818, the book tells the tale of resurrecting the dead by the use of electricity.  When first published, the author was listed as “Anonymous,” with most people assuming it was Percy Shelley, Mary’s husband, who penned the book. Most felt this assumption was due to the fact that he wrote the introduction. Although, in 19th century Europe, who would have thought a young woman’s imaginative tale would influence an entire genre in such a historical way.  To celebrate Mary, below are five facts you should know about this pioneering woman of horror and her masterpiece.



  • Mary Shelley was just 21 when Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus was published.
  • Shelley’s mother was the eighteenth century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792.
  • Although most famous for Frankenstein, Shelley also wrote other books including Valpergal (1823), The Last Man (1826), and the autobiographical Lodore which was also published under the title The Beautiful Widow (1835).
  • Prometheus in Greek mythology was said to be the wisest of all the Titans. Shelley mirrors the tale of Prometheus with Dr. Frankenstein’s consequences resulting from seeking enlightenment and power.
  • Although the most influential film starred Boris Karloff in 1931, the first adaptation of Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus was in 1910 and was produced by Thomas Edison.




Over the years there have been so many films and pieces of pop culture that can be tied back to Mary Shelley’s classic. From Young Frankenstein to The Rocky Horror Picture Show to Frankenweenie, all tip their hat to this 19th century pioneer of women in horror.  For Women in Horror Month 2018, we salute Mary Shelley, a young woman before her time, who influenced centuries of culture.


Christine Caprilozzi
Christine Caprilozzi
Christine Bucci-Caprilozzi joined the Horror News Network staff in 2005 when the site was still ComicMonsters.com. She started as a Staff Journalist adding interviews, comic reviews and convention coverage. Christine is also the Lead Organizer/Director of the CT HorrorFest and is a firm believer in keeping the indie spirit of the horror community alive. You can follow her on Twitter @Christine_HNN.

Similar Articles


Latest News

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ Gets New Featurette

The third entry in The Conjuring film series, titled The Devil Made Me Do it, has a brand new Behind-the-Scenes featurette showcasing the stars...

Janus Films Bringing Classic Godzilla Films Back to Theaters and Drive-Ins

Janus Films will be releasing three classic Godzilla films in drive-ins this month as well as traditional theaters in the future. The three films include...

Netflix Lands James Wan-Led Supernatural Series ‘Archive 81’

James Wan is bringing his extensive horror and fantasy background--from the Saw and Conjuring franchises to Aquaman--to bear on a new Netflix series. Archive 81--which draws its inspiration from the popular...

Oscar Isaac In Negotiations To Star In ‘Moon Knight’

It looks as if a Star Wars fan favorite will move from a Galaxy far away to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With his time...

Final Act Is Set For ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’

Earlier today Netflix dropped the teaser for the fourth season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Unfortunately for fans, this will be the series...

Newsletter Sign-Up

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our bi-monthly newsletter consists of the latest horror news and CT HorrorFest happenings.

Site Sponsors