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The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Rescued from an impoverished life among the Gypsies, raised by a remarkable noblewoman of Geneva, Elzabeth Lavenza was much more than a foster sister to Victor Frankenstein. Together, they forged a sensual bond and entered a world of mythical lore. Theodore Roszak reveals the stunningly passionate story Mary Shelley herself had dared not write. HC: Random House.
Mass Market Paperback, 440 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1995)
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3.57  · 
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 ·  302 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Melissa McCauley
Apr 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
First of all, let me say that this novel is well written (although a bit repetitive). The male author produces a very believable female voice which is distinct from the voice of the persnickety “editor” – not many authors can do that.

Readers of many books, for example Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon” will be familiar with the Druidic concept of “The Great Marriage”, “Marriage With the Land”, or “The Sacred Marriage” as Dan Brown calls it in “The DaVinci Code”. In this novel, Baroness Fr
Rachel Helm
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally, the truth about Victor Frankenstein's wife! Witches dance naked in the woods, a crone masturbates a teenage boy with the aid of her familiar, bizarre sex rites, and a woman looks into the face of a miscarried fetus and sees the face of the monster Frankenstein. A must read! I can't believe it was written by a man!
Apr 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quirky-fantasy
--From Publishers weekly.

How ironic that a woman who wrote as a man should, after nearly 200 years, be given such ardent voice by a man writing as a woman.

Coeruleo Luna
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
i read the hardcover version years ago, and to this day it is one of my favorite books of all time. such a beautiful concept of the 'flipside' of a classic novel without changing the original story's meaning or character. the story is retold from the view of the mad doctor's wife and is such a compelling and vivid story of her childhood and life leading up to the creation of the monster and the eventual outcome but also manages to feel completely original due to all the non-frankenstein story li ...more
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
A little strange but entertaining. A fun read.
Diane Klajbor
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. The reader gets a chance to find out about Elizabeth's life, from her birth to death. I was hoping to get some insight into Victor. What motivated him to do the things he did? But this was Elizabeth's story to tell, her discoveries, her thoughts, her emotions. The book could have used some editing. There was a section of the book that I thought was strange and out of place. But, in spite of that, it was a fascinating look at a story that has endured and captured our ...more
Darthie Palmer
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you like memoirs, fictionalized in part or wholly, you will enjoy this book. I was capt ivated by the woman's story especially because it is in her own words. Knowing she's doomed, stays for love of the one who unknowingly fashions her fate. Gripping from beginning to end.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Interesting look at the story from another point of view. Very much about the power of women. My favorite quote "The blood is our strength, for it is the power of the heavens and the Earth within us"
Frank Weeden
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Masterful use of language! I love this book, if, for no other reason, than it is delicious to read. Theodore Roszak's prose is polished so beautifully, it fairly GLEAMS!! I think Mary Shelley would be proud...
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I agree with the review that said the last 50 pages were the best. The book did not have much to do with the Frankenstein novel.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quest
I enjoyed it - even though I knew how it would end. I think the author did a great job with his research of the time period, and explaining why people in the original did what they did.
Steve Carter
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein By Theodore Roszak

This can be viewed as a political novel about the most basic of struggles; The need of humans to own, control, make, and know as opposed to a call-of-the-wild acknowledgement of life and feeling being in everything and humans just a part of it all, more integrated. It is also a psychological study of humans and their interface with the rest of nature. It deals with issues personal and global at the same time, through story, metaphor. Or si
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very strange book. A little drawn out in my opinion. Not sure that it added anything to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
May 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Racist, classist, presumptuous, gender-essentialist mansplaining with a pervasive air of sexual violence. DNF.
Wendy Mills
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
What a strange and twisted Gothic tale.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Where do I begin? It has been some years since I read Mary Shelley's original tale of the monster. Within those pages, I found a man whose hubris to attain god-like power over life and death to be tempered with the anguish of losing those he loved most to death. This, then, was what I took from Frankenstein. Victor was a monster, but one with the best of intentions.

This volume leaves me somewhat disturbed. I'm not sure where exactly he got the idea that anything in his book could be remotely con
Nicholas Whyte
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2014, 1406, winner, tiptree, xg[return][return]Won the 1995 Tiptree Award. I wasn't quite sure what to expect; it's not terribly closely related to Shelley's own Frankenstein (and I'm baffled by the numerous online reviews whining that it's not a "sequel" - most of the book is set before the action of the original novel, so if anything it would be a prequel; but in reality it is an extended meditation on the character of Elizabeth Frankenstein and what might have shaped her life and V ...more
Sarah Beth
The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein follows in the footsteps of Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and Alexander Ripley's Scarlett - it is a sequel to a classic written by a different author. Unlike Rhys and Ripley, this novel is less than a compelling continuation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The premise of Roszak's novel is that Robert Walton, the narrator of Shelley's novel, continued researching Frankenstein's tale and found the diary and letters of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the bride that died
I don't know....this book was a little disjointed to me. The first part about all the wiccan, and alchemical stuff was kind of interesting....and not just a little wierd the thing about the mother and laying her beliefs on her kids to the extreme! The second half, where all that stuff drops by the wayside and Victor goes off to school...and Elizabeth, I don't know, she bugged me. I did think it was interesting to read the narrators thoughts on, or the spin he put on what Victor related to him as ...more
Vincent Darlage
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Not too bad on its own merits, I guess, but it doesn't mesh well with the original novel. There isn't a single mention of Justine or her death, despite how anguished Elizabeth seemed to be over it in "Frankenstein." There isn't even a single mention of Victor's little brother, William, who was strangled by the Monster. In this novel, the Monster apparently didn't kill anyone. There is also not a single mention of Victor's boyhood friend, Clerval.

Those were three important figures in the original
Rachel Rogers
Sep 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Received this book as a thank you for giving a special tour of the Mark Twain House to the publisher, in preparation for a new Huckleberry Finn release. He told me that they hoped it would be the next Huck Finn...HA! I struggled to finish it, for completeness sake. The general question is, why would anyone try to continue the story of Frankenstein. Shelley told it all and it's all a warning anyway. Telling this side of the story, such as it is, undoes the intent of the original story.

Plus, it wa
Written as a sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, told from the POV of Victor's wife with similar framing to the original, this novel portrays both Frankensteins as early converts to Gnosticism and Alchemy. Quite a stretch, but it is labeled as "fiction" for a reason. Quite engaging if one is into that sort of thing.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
I always like it when an author steals famous characters and plots and shows the other side of the story. For that reason, this book appealed to me. It was fantastic writing, but I liked seeing another point of view.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really loved the diary entry style of writing.
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Very dark and twisted..
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
was good but didn't need half the ludeness in it.
Lisa Mcbroom
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The hidden journals of Elizabeth Victor Frankenstein's betroved.
May 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
I felt it an attempt to capitalize on the success of "Mists of Avalon". The idea is there, but it goes in a predictable direction.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Such a disappointment. This makes Elizabeth nearly into a cult member or a wiccan of some sort. Did not like it.
Nov 02, 2010 rated it liked it
more sexual/erotic than i anticipated
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Theodore Roszak was Professor Emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay. He is best known for his 1969 text, The Making of a Counter Culture.

Roszak first came to public prominence in 1969, with the publication of his The Making of a Counter Culture[5] which chronicled and gave explanation to the European and North American counterculture of the 1960s. He is generally credited wi
“The blood is our strength, for it is the power of the heavens and the Earth within us” 1 likes
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