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Mary Shelley dedicated Frankenstein or the Modern
Prometheus to a person who had long desired to bring
Roman virtue to European culture. This is found in his
letters to his publisher and is undisputed.
From stem to stern, Mary Shelley included key elements
of her father's philosophy of human perfectibility. For
example, the parable of the ship's master illustrates the
error of making promises that Godwin described, as well
as the principled use of knowledge and benefit.
Seeming errors in the novel serve as further means to
demonstrate the soundness of Godwin's observations
with regard to discovery of the flaws in the machinery
of society and the means to remedy.
The Saville point of view suggested by the novel would
lead the reader to focus on Walton and his relationship to
his guest. Evidence that Walton is being manipulated and
is in danger of losing the balance necessary to keep his
important promise becomes clear when this point of view
is adopted by the reader. This point of view, however, is
ignored almost without exception in what has been written
about the novel. Arthur Paul Patterson's letter from Mrs.
Saville is such an exception. A link to his site is here.
Godwin observed that educational institutions tend to
lag behind the efforts of individual thinkers, which
Frankenstein also demonstrates, as the design elements
we have identified have been entirely ignored by scholars
associated with educational institutions.
The changes Mary Shelley made to the later edition are
consistent with the observation that seeming errors are
purposeful design elements, which, when recognized as
such, support her father's philosophy of human perfectibility.
Certain Romans of record appreciated the difference between
superstition and religion, a distinction provided for by the
Latin language, but not by the Greek language.
Mary Shelley read and discussed ancient authors, including
those who espoused Roman virtue. She also read and discussed
works of many others who found fault with established views
of institutions claiming to be religious.
Thomas Paine, Robert Owen and others identified problems
with so called religion, which are destructive of Roman virtue.
The preface to Frankenstein identifies purposes consistent with
the design elements of the novel that have been ignored until now.
This page is in response to several links from educational sites that suggest
that hailMaryShelley.com is based on an "unscholarly reading" or ideas that
are erroneous, but do not in any way explain on what basis these assessments
are made. While the effort that is the foundation of this site may not qualify as
scholarly as defined by of any number of universities, several of the chief
discrepancies we identify as important design elements are comprehensible
to anyone who knows the order of the months of the Roman calendar and the
seasons in the hemisphere in which the events of the novel take place.
We welcome any criticism, questions, or comments and reply to
all e-mail promptly and thoughtfully. e-mail address: ToMMLI@netscape.net
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