Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pride and Prometheus - Review and Excerpt

Idgie Says:
The story is told from the viewpoints of four different characters; The Bennet sisters, Victor, and Frankenstein himself. 

Frankenstein is made very human in this story, filled out with emotion and want. All of the characters are fully fleshed out and alive.  Except for the fantastical story of a monster created, the situations tend toward real life situations, fears and longings.  The novel is well written and engrossing - I found myself reading at a decidedly smart pace through the pages. 

From France to England, Frankenstein chases Victor to make him keep his promise of finding a mate that would accept a monster.  Meanwhile, Mary pines after Victor, hoping to be saved from the mantle of spinsterhood. Be it monster or maiden, everyone just wants to be loved.

Please note - there is a 2008 novelette of the same name, with excerpts out online.  This novel is not a longer version of that novelette and should not be confused with it.  This is a full novel in it's own right.


Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Saga Press (February 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481481479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481481472

Excerpt from Chapter 3

Mr. Frankenstein mumbled a few words and, to her great surprise, turned to Mary. “Might I have the pleasure, if you are not occupied, of sharing the next dance with you?”

His eyes did not meet hers. She suspected he asked her only at the urging of Mr. Clerval. His diffident air intrigued her. His manners were faultless, as was his English—though he spoke with a slight French accent—but he conveyed an air of hesitance, as if he acted a part that was not comfortable. Not vanity, then, and not likely pride.

He took her hand and guided her to the floor. Through her glove and his she felt the pressure of his fingers; they entered the lines of women and men facing one another, prepared for the quadrille. Once the orchestra struck up, Frankenstein moved with some grace. Unlike Mr. Collins, his attention was on Mary, and she thought, despite herself, that she danced better than she had except at those times when she danced by herself in her room, safe from the world’s observation. When she extended her hand, she did it with neither abruptness nor timidity. No trace of a smile crossed her partner’s lips. He spoke not at all. They stood side by side as the line advanced, waiting to make them top couple, and Mary’s discomfort increased. She cast about for something to say, but her mind was a humiliating blank.

At the end of the dance, Mr. Frankenstein broke the silence, asking whether Mary would like some refreshment. She might rather have been released, but she would not be rude. They crossed from the crowded ballroom to the sitting room, where Frankenstein procured for her a cup of negus. Away from the orchestra Mary could hear the rattle of windblown rain on the windows. She watched him retrieve the punch and bring it back, determined to make some conversation before she should retreat to the safety of her wall ower’s chair.
“So, Monsieur Frankenstein, did you come to London as your friend Mr. Clerval did—on business?”

He sat across from her, his cup in his hands. Other couples in the room conversed with varying degrees of inti- macy. Looking about as he spoke, in his excellent English he said, “I came to meet with certain natural philosophers here in London. Your country boasts some of the leading chemists of Europe.”
“Oh. Have you met Mr. Davy?”

Frankenstein looked at her as if seeing her for the rst time. “You are acquainted with Mr. Davy?”

“I am not acquainted with him, but I am, in my small way, an enthusiast of the sciences. Have you read his Discourse Introductory to a Course of Lectures on Chemistry?”

Frankenstein’s eyebrows lifted. “I find myself astonished to meet a young woman who has read Humphry Davy. Is this the pastime of well-bred ladies in London society?”

For the first time in their evening he seemed to be animated by something other than duty. Mary felt unaccustomed daring. What did it matter what she said to a diffident foreigner whom she would never see again?

“The well-bred ladies of London are more interested in Mr. Davy’s good looks than in his writings,” Mary said. “The well-bred men, though they may attend his lectures, are for the most part less interested in his writings than in the well-bred ladies. You and I are likely the only man and woman here tonight who will speak of chemistry. So you have met Mr. Davy?”

“I attended one of his lectures on his recent return from Europe.”

“Then you have seen more of him than I. My mother does not consider my attending such lectures a suitable way for me to pass my time. You are a natural philosopher?”

“Perhaps it is better to say that at one time I was. I studied at Ingolstadt with Mr. Krempe and Mr. Waldman. I confess that I can no longer countenance the subject.”

“You no longer countenance the subject, yet you seek out Professor Davy.”
A shadow swept over Frankenstein’s face. “The subject is unsupportable to me, yet pursue it I must.”

“A paradox.”

“A paradox that I am unable to explain, Miss Bennet.”

All this said in a voice so heavy as to almost sound 
despairing. Mary watched his sober black eyes and replied, “‘The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.’” 

For the second time he gave her a look that suggested she had touched him. Mr. Frankenstein sipped from his cup, then spoke: “Avoid any pastime, Miss Bennet, that takes you out of the normal course of human contact. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and destroy your taste for simple pleasures, then that study is certainly unlawful.”
The purport of this speech Mary was unable to fathom. “Surely there is no harm in seeking knowledge. The natural philosopher, Professor Davy suggests, should be as creative an artist as the poet, and combine together mechanical, chemical, and physiological knowledge. All knowledge, I believe, brings us closer to God.”

“Would that it were always so, Miss Bennet.”

“Why otherwise has he given us minds that reason, and hearts that question?”

“Why, indeed,” Frankenstein said. He smiled. “Henry has urged me to go out into London society; had I known that I might meet such a thoughtful person as yourself, I would have done so long before now.”