The Jones Library is excited to be a partner in Frankenreads during October of 2018. Frankenreads is a project of the Keats-Shelley Association of America, funded by a Chairman’s grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818) by encouraging people around the world to organize or participate in events celebrating the novel. For more information, please visit the Frankenreads website to learn about events, explore additional resources, or locate other area partners.

There will be something for all ages during our celebration of all things Frankenstein.  Adult programming will feature a film festival, two programs led by local scholars, and displays in the atrium.  The Classics Book Club will be reading and discussing Frankenstein as their October selection.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

Written by Shelley when she was just nineteen years old and published anonymously in 1818, Frankenstein is one of the most recognizable and enduring novels in English literature. Its writing began as Shelley's contribution to a friendly competition among several of her literary cohorts. While on holiday in Geneva, Switzerland, she and her companions challenged one another to write a horror story. Her tale of an obsessed scientist who creates and then abandons a human being, thus provoking it to horrible vengeance, has maintained the attention of readers and critics since its publication. Initial critical reaction to Frankenstein was often unfavorable, but in the twentieth century critics began to analyze the novel from a variety of new perspectives and to recognize in it many devices and themes which are now presented as evidence that Shelley's creation was ahead of its time.
("Frankenstein". Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker. Vol. 170. Detroit: Gale, 2006. From Literature Resource Center.)

Schedule of Events

* All events are free and open to the public. *

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Frankenstein Film Fest:  Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein - In this 1948 film, Bud and Lou not also meet Frankenstein, but also battle Dracula and the Wolf Man in this spook spoof featuring monster stars Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney. This film is not rated.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Frankenstein Film Fest:  Frankenstein- In this 1931 classic directed by James Whale, this still iconic adaptation of Frankenstein stars Boris Karloff as the monster, built by an obsessed scientist who assembled him from parts of exhumed corpses. This film is not rated.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Frankenstein Film Festival:  Bride of Frankenstein - In this 1935 film, a masterful sequel to the 1931 classic, the mad scientist is persuaded to create a mate for his creature to help fabricate a new race, but all doesn't go as planned. This film is not rated.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Frankenstein Film Festival:  Young Frankenstein - In this 1974 film, Mel Brooks offers a comedic spoof of the 1931 movie, with Gene Wilder playing the lead role as Victor von Frankenstein’s grandson, Frederick Frankenstein, who struggles to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe. He is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.   This film is rated PG.

Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Black Frankenstein - Elizabeth Young will explore the racial connotations of the Frankenstein story in the United States over the last two centuries. She will show how authors, artists, and activists -- African-American and white -- have situated the Frankenstein monster in racial contexts and used the monster's story for both radical and conservative political purposes.
Elizabeth Young is Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Reading Gender and Sexuality in Frankenstein
- Lise Sanders will lead a discussion focusing on gender and sexuality in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, drawing on the biographical and historical context of Gothic literature, women’s writing, and feminism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and reading the novel in light of modern scholarship exploring issues of monstrosity, power, and difference.
Lise Sanders is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at Hampshire College.

Youth Events

Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. - Crafts Room

Frankenreads Book Club - Kids ages 6 - 9 are invited to join us in reading and discussing books about Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein, and then make your own Franken-slime!
Please pre-register and pick up a book in the Kids Room - call 413-259-3091 or

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Monster Mash Family Dance Party - A family friendly dance party for kids of all ages.  We'll have spooktacular tunes, crafts, and photo opportunities.  Costumes welcome!

Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. - Woodbury Room

Family Movie Matinée:  Frankenweenie - Join us for the adventures of Victor and his beloved undead dog, Sparky. This film is rated PG.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. - Crafts Room

Spooky Drop in Craft - All ages are invited to come create Frankenstein suncatchers right after Preschool Storytime!

Frankenstein book cover
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