Contents Index

ardent curiosity

The initial posing of a highly problematic theme of the novel, the thirst for knowledge as an end in itself. The same theme implicates "Alastor," Percy Bysshe Shelley's major poem written in 1815, and published in March of the next year, four months before Mary Shelley conceived the idea for Frankenstein, as well as William Godwin's first great success in fiction, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1792): whose fourth paragraph begins, "The spring of action which, perhaps more than any other, characterised the whole train of my life, was curiosity."