Tag Archives: Eaton’s_editions

Unique editions of Frankenstein at the Eaton: 1831

Our 1831 edition (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley) is unique, as it has been “Frankensteined” in many ways. Of course, on the title page, our book describes itself as “revised, corrected, and illustrated with a new introduction, by the author.”

Title page of the 1831 edition of Frankenstein

Title page of the Eaton’s 1831 Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (From the holdings of Special Collections & University Archives, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside.)

This is a reference to textual changes made both by William Godwin (Mary Shelley’s father), and Mary Shelley herself, which make the novel into a composite text.

More than this, the Eaton’s copy literally appears to have been cut up and re-bound. As shown below, one piece of publication information has been cut out from one title page, and pasted onto a new page in our re-built book.

Doctored page of the Eaton’s 1831 Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (From the holdings of Special Collections & University Archives, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside.)

Like our 1818 edition, this physical object – the artifactual book – is a treasure trove of Franken-history just waiting to be explored. For more info, come back again next week!

Unique Editions of Frankenstein at the Eaton: 1818

What makes the Eaton’s Frankensteins unique historical objects? Our 1818 edition (London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones) contains a personal annotation written in Pitman’s shorthand — a phonetic writing method invented in 1837 and popularized throughout the nineteenth century.

Preface of the Eaton’s 1818 Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (From the holdings of Special Collections & University Archives, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside.)

Additionally, though the 1818 Frankenstein was published in London and now is held in Riverside, all three volumes contain embossed library stamps from the “Adelaide Circulating Library,” suggesting that our copy also was held, for a time, in Australia.

Embossed stamp in the Eaton’s 1818 Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (From the holdings of Special Collections & University Archives, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside.)

As we build our 200 Years of Frankenstein exhibit, we look forward to tracing these details, which reveal the material life of our books over the past 200 years.