Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and slavery
in Dangerous bodies
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

Chapter 2 investigates the corrupting and corrosive effects of slavery. An association already exists between slavery and the rise of Gothic fiction through the West Indian connections of the major Gothic writers, Horace Walpole, William Beckford and Matthew Lewis. Mary Shelley’s new creation myth in Frankenstein draws not just on Prometheus and Adam but also, it will be argued, on the topical issue of the enslaved and the reluctance of many abolitionists to support the cause of immediate emancipation. Within this reading of Frankenstein as an allegory of slavery, the monster is considered as a demonised version of miscegenation and the fate of his female companion related to fears generated by rebel female slaves. Her resurrection in Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein (1935) demonstrates how surgery can be used for sexual purposes in creating a female creature, as indicated by the film title.

Dangerous bodies

Historicising the gothic corporeal



All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 293 161 7
Full Text Views 55 26 1
PDF Downloads 23 13 4