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Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France. It is common to refer to the monster itself as "Frankenstein", but in the novel the monster is identified via words such as "monster", "fiend", "wretch", "vile insect", "daemon", and "it"; Shelley herself called it "Adam".
Through research it can be determined the many influences the author was under during the creation of the novel. She had traveled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and such other occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions. The actual storyline took place from a dream. Mary Shelley was talking with her three other writers and they decided they would have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be Shelley dreamed about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he created. Then "Frankenstein" was written. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. It was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. The novel is also partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead and (sometimes) living animals.