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Monstrous Regiments of Women and Brides of Frankenstein: Gendered Body Politics in Scottish Female Gothic Fiction

  • Carol Margaret Davison

Abstract

Feeling himself and his family increasingly persecuted by his creature three years after its creation, Victor Frankenstein agrees, after a lengthy and impassioned conversation during which the creature relates his tragic tale, to provide him with a female companion. Only in this manner, Victor rationalises, may he appease his resentful, homicidal monster and regain peace and normalcy. This incident notably coincides with Victor’s agreement, at his ageing father’s urging, to marry Elizabeth after completing a two-year European tour with his beloved friend, Henri Clerval.2 In order to ‘compose … [the] female monster’ (124) over the course of his tour, Frankenstein determines to retire to ‘one of the remotest of the Orkney [islands]’ in Scotland (136). Thus are the two ‘brides’ of Frankenstein inextricably connected in Mary Shelley’s compelling novel, a significant association in keeping with the Gothic’s longstanding engagement with anxieties relating to sexual desire and such key rites of passage as marriage and death. Thus, too, is Scotland represented as the domain of female monsters in this iconic Gothic work.

Keywords

Textual Evidence Sexual Reassignment Surgery Subsequent Reference Female Companion British Bulldog 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Adrienne Rich, from Snapshots of a Daughter-In-Law (New York: Norton, 1963).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (Oxford: Oxford UP [1818], 1993), 125–7.Google Scholar
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    Francis Lathom, The Romance of the Hebrides; or, Wonders Never Cease!, 3 vols (London: Minerva Press, 1809).Google Scholar
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    Catherine Smith, The Caledonian Bandit; or, The Heir of Duncaethal. A Romance of the Thirteenth Century, 2 vols (London: Minerva Press, 1811).Google Scholar
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    Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory (London: Abacus, 1984).Google Scholar
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    Claire Kahane, ‘Gothic Mirrors and Feminine Identity’, Centennial Review 24 (1980), 43–64Google Scholar
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    Michelle Massé, In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism, and the Gothic (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell UP, 1992), 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carol Margaret Davison 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Margaret Davison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WindsorCanada

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