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the living monument of presumption

This may be the single case in the novel where one can sense Mary Shelley reacting to a reaction to her novel. She could not have revised this passage, adding such inflated self-deprecation by Victor, without being conscious of the title of the first dramatic redaction of her novel, Richard Brinsley Peake's Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein, which she saw with her father upon her return to London in 1823. The word is never uttered in the play, but the title clearly established a context in which Victor Frankenstein's researches were from then on to be conceived; and Mary Shelley herself responds by subsuming it within the third edition.