This site offers the prototype of our Variorum Viewer of the novel Frankenstein. We also provide some information about our approach and methods, as well as the various people who have worked on this projects since its beginnings in 2017.

Our goal is to digitally collate the five distinct versions of the novel produced between 1816 and 1831. We launched our project in response to the bicentennial of Frankenstein’s first publication in 1818, thinking only to improve the comparison view of the 1818 and 1831 editions available on Romantic Circles.

Along the way our project has grown into a more comprehensive effort to revive and rework earlier ambitious digital editions of the novel, from the Pennsylvania Electronic Edition of the mid 1990s onward. One of our projects is to bring together the 1816 manuscript notebook edition of the Shelley-Godwin Archive and the manuscript annotations of the Thomas copy into readable comparison with the print editions of the novel, to help students, scholars, and fans explore Frankenstein’s intensive, nonlinear revision history.

“Beta editions” ready for reading

The following are distinct editions prepared “under the hood” by correcting prior digital editions and preparing new digital editions the 1823 and Thomas edition. These files represent each edition prior to collation processing. Comparison data is not marked in these documents, but each is a distinct edition in its own right suitable for reading and annotation.

  1. 1818 publication of Frankenstein.
  2. The Thomas copy, an edition representing Mary Shelley’s edits handwritten on an 1818 edition of the novel.

  3. 1823 publication of Frankenstein (supervised by William Godwin).

  4. 1831 publication of Frankenstein.

View all public annotations

While our prototype viewer currently displays only the text and annotations for as far as the current progress of the collation, our annotations team has produced scholarly annotations for additional sections of each edition. To view these annotations on the beta editions, use the links below:

  1. 1818 publication of Frankenstein.
  2. The Thomas copy
  3. 1823 publication of Frankenstein
  4. 1831 publication of Frankenstein