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Frankenstein in Popular Culture

The popularity of Mary Shelley's novel and its various adaptions can be matched by few works of literature. As early as 1823, when Richard Brinsley Peake's Presumption was staged, and especially since the famous Universal Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff, Frankenstein has spawned many thousands of spin-offs, ranging from sombre meditations on the dangers of science to kitschy cult movies about cross-dressing aliens. And with it comes the image, endlessly reproduced in everything from horror movies to breakfast cereals, of a green-skinned, flat-headed, groaning, lumbering giant with bolts in his neck -- a far cry from Mary Shelley's articulate Creature.