“Frankenstein” Fanfare at the CA Antiquarian Book Fair

The 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair comes to life in Pasadena this Friday. To mark the bicentennial of Frankenstein, the fair’s featured exhibit is a celebration of Mary Shelley’s ‘monsterpiece,’ from first editions to comics to vintage movie posters, with selections from the University of California at Riverside Library, Occidental College Library, the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library, and local book artists on display.

Riverside.paperback1-1 copy.jpgOn Saturday, two related talks are scheduled. At 1:00, Sidney E. Berger, professor of library and information science at Simmons College and the library school at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present Frankenstein in the Popular Imagination. At 3:00, there will be a panel discussion titled It’s Alive: How Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Changed the World. It will be moderated by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan and include David J. Skal, author of The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror; Sara Jane Karloff, the daughter of the original movie monster Frankenstein, Boris Karloff; and literary scholar Miranda Butler, UC Riverside.  

Harrington.jpgOf course, if you’re interested in buying some Frankensteiniana, there’s sure to be much on offer, including a spectacular collection of 21 letters by Mary Shelley to various persons, including two to Edward Trelawny and one to her step-sister Claire Clairmont, from bookseller Peter Harrington (£125,000); the first one-volume edition of Frankenstein (1831), bound as issued with the first part of Schiller’s The Ghost-Seer from Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers ($3,300); and a 1829 Theatre Royal playbill for the performance of “the popular Romance of Presumption or, The Fate of Frankenstein” from bookseller Simon Beattie ($300).

Images: (Top) Paperback editions of Frankenstein with expressive cover art will be on display in the special exhibit, courtesy of UC Riverside Library; (Middle) Mary Shelley letters archive, courtesy of Peter Harrington.

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