Why Some Publishers Are Forgotten

Can you imagine Mary Shelley getting a rejection slip for Frankenstein?

The University of Iowa Special Collections has posted the note Percy Shelley added to one of his wife’s letters saying, “Poor Mary’s book has come back with a refusal which has put me in rather ill spirits.”

Frankenstein was rejected not once but twice — Percy Shelley’s and Lord Byron’s publishers both passed — before being accepted.

View the letter online here.

3 thoughts on “Why Some Publishers Are Forgotten

  1. What a different world we might now inhabit if that book had never been published. Brian Aldiss (and others) maintain that it is the first true science fiction novel. It’s also responsible for the genre of horror in cinema. Indirectly, part of that wave of weird stories which would lead to WEIRD TALES.

  2. While the world of literature would probably have been changed drastically by the non-publication of Frankenstein, I — for one — would not have been sorry in the least for not having the chance to have read it.

    (Dracula by Bram Stoker, too.)

  3. Read both of those novels, and found FRANKENSTEIN to be a rough haul, as it is dense and asks many questions. DRACULA is extremely good and disquieting until it gets the Count in England, where it becomes a bit more mundane in the good versus evil plot.

    The early Lugoisi film of Dracula was based on the stage play and not the novel.

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