Mary Shelley wrote her Modern Prometheus when she was just nineteen. Since then it has been hailed as one of the greatest horror stories ever published. This gothic tale is a warning – love that which you create, or it will destroy you. Philip Pullman has called this novel “a masterpiece”. Now you can too.

About the author

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of the void, but out of chaos” – Mary Shelley

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Why We Like It

  • Delicious doses of the original man monster from a gothic queen
  • A novel of letters delivered in staves
  • Beautifully reimagined with illustrations, essays and music


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Mary Shelley was born to political philosopher William Godwin and feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft but her early life was marred by tragedy when her mother died just eleven days after her birth. Despite receiving no formal education, she read voraciously, writing essays and short stories from a young age. Falling in love with her father’s student, Percy Shelley, the teenage Mary fled England with the then still married poet to the sound of scandal and disgrace. They travelled Europe together, spending the summer of 1815 in Switzerland with Lord Byron and John Polidori where Byron made the suggestion that lead to the creation of Mary’s most famous work to date, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. She was nineteen when she wrote the novel, which was published anonymously to great acclaim.

Written during a time of scientific discovery, industrial revolution and spiritual uncertainty, Mary’s chilling tale captures the zeitgeist of the time – a mood that as easily applies to today’s climate of instability and doubt. In the year following its publication, Mary’s half sister Fanny committed suicide shortly followed by Percy Shelley’s first wife, Harriet. This latter, tragic event was perversely bitter sweet, finally allowing the couple to marry in 1816. Mary continued to be haunted by death, with her first child, and two more children, dying, and her husband Percy drowning in 1822. Mary’s gothic polemic combines the intense passion and loss that came to define her life.

She died in 1851, at the age of 53, from brain cancer.


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Ego Rodriguez

A Spanish illustrator fascinated by the macabre, dark corners, lost memories and anything left-of-centre. I love to capture the darkest ideas with the brightest colours.

To see more of Ego’s fantastic work click here.


How it works

The serialisation begins on the 1st May. All you need to do is to press the ‘join for free’ button above and you will receive a confirmation that you have signed up.

The book will be delivered in 10 instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.

We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customize them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book.

After the serialization the full book will be available on your bookshelf and you can read it at your leisure.

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Beautiful extras in the margins immerse you in the world of each book.

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