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(#107) FRANKENSTEIN:

Edition of 2197 of which 300 are signed 1-300, 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, and three sets are signed as progressives.

December 31, 1983 11 colors 17-1/8" x 24"

Client: The Pacific Film Archive (Tom Schmidt), University of California Art Museum, 2625 Durant Avenue, Berkeley CA 94720. Telephone (510) 642-1413 A-Z: artist's own use. Progressives: 1 set to the Pacific Film Archive

In 1792 Mary Wolstoncraft wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women, a feminist treatise that reads like it was published yesterday afternoon. Its central thesis is that women can have no control over their lives if they do not have control over their bodies. In 1797, she married the radical William Godwin. Godwin believed that it was impossible to be rationally persuaded and not act accordingly; that therefore men can live in harmony without law and institutions; and that mankind is ultimately perfectible.

Mary died in childbirth in 1797, and her one and only daughter, also Mary, became the second wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley. He'd taken up with her in 1814, and though they did not believe in marriage, nonetheless availed themselves of that sacrament after Percy's pregnant first wife, Harriet Westbrook, drowned herself in the Serpentine in 1816 at the age of 21.

That summer, Mary, Percy, Lord Byron and Mary's stepsister Jane, were sitting around one night with nothing much to do, and challenged each other to write a rattling good story, or to try and scare the pants off one another. Nineteen-year-old Mary responded by conjuring up this heart-wrenching tale of the student Frankenstein, who by means of Galvanism animates a soulless monster from grave-yard fragments.

Longing for sympathy and love, but repellent to all about him, the creature pleads for a mate, but is cruelly denied. In retribution, he destroys the promised bride of his creator, and crying "Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me?" flees into a howling waste. The pitiful monster, of course, has no name, but is commonly called by that of his creator. For every one who is familiar with the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, there are ten thousand who know the Gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus written by his teenage bride.