The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
By (author) Peter Ackroyd
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Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn in the secluded village of Headington, near Oxford. The coroner's office provides the corpses he needs - but they have often died by violent means and are damaged and putrifying. Victor moves his coils and jars and electrical fluids to a deserted pottery manufactury in Limehouse. And, from Limehouse, makes contact with the Doomesday Men - the resurrectionists. Victor pays better than any hospital for the bodies of the very recently dead. Even so, perfect specimens are hard to come by...until that Thames-side dawn when Victor, waiting, wrapped in his greatcoat, on his wooden jetty, hears the splashing of oars and sees in the half-light that slung into the stern of the approaching boat is the corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water...
Peter Ackroyd has written acclaimed biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, William Blake, Shakespeare and Thomas More, as well as short books about Chaucer, J.M.W. Turner, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allan Poe and, most recently, Wilkie Collins. A bestselling biographer, historian, novelist and broadcaster, he holds a CBE for services to literature. He is also the author of Albion: The Origin of the English Imagination, Venice: Pure City and Thames: Sacred River. He lives in London.ISBN: 9780099524137
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (198mm x 129mm x 26mm)
Publish Date: 2-Apr-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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Book Review: Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd - Reviewed by Boomert (11 Jan 2010)
So, Victor Frankenstein had now given us another account of his life and it is rather different to the version he gave to Robert Walton in Mary Shelley's book. Which are we to believe?
That may seem a strange question to ask, since up to now it has always been believed that Mary Shelley, at the age of nineteen, invented Victor Frankenstein as a character in the horror story she concocted one dark and stormy night in a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva. The poet, Percy Bysse Shelley (Mary's husband to be) was there, so too were Alfred, Lord Byron, his physician Dr Polidori, and Mary's step-sister, Claire Claremont. Two of the stories told that night eventually became books: Mary's Frankenstein and Polidori's The Vampire.
Peter Ackroyd, however, seems to have come across an autobiography written by Victor Frankenstein in which he tells us how he met and befriended Percy Bysse Shelley and, so, came to meet Mary, Byron and Polidori. So,...
Peter Ackroyd has written acclaimed biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, William Blake, Shakespeare and Thomas More, as well as short books about Chaucer, J.M.W. Turner, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allan Poe and, most recently, Wilkie Collins. A bestselling biographer, historian, novelist and broadcaster, he holds a CBE for services to literature. He is also the author of Albion: The Origin of the English Imagination, Venice: Pure City and Thames: Sacred River. He lives in London.
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