Still Alive! 200 Years of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

October and November 2018

The Library is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus with book discussions, lectures, film screenings, craft programs, and more for all ages!

Contact: Lesley Lambton, Adult Programs Director, 203-438-2282 x 11013,

Check out our Still Alive! 200 Years of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein brochure

Library Materials | Programs & Events | Program Sponsors & Partners | Recommended Links



Programs & Events


National Theatre Live - Frankenstein @ Ridgefield Playhouse

Wednesday, October 10, 7 PM - Register

Captured live in 2011 from the National Theatre stage in London Frankenstein returns to international cinemas to mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s most famous novel!  This thrilling, sold-out production became an international sensation, experienced by almost half a million people in cinemas around the world. Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle. Frankenstein features Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating between the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation. This performance is with Cumberbatch as the creation and Miller as Victor Frankenstein.


On the Frontiers of Medical Ethics with Dr. Arthur Caplan

Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 PM - Register

Genetic ancestry testing, genetically engineered babies, and face transplants—where are we going and should we go there? These are just some of the sensitive topics that will be discussed in this talk by Dr. Arthur Caplan.

Professor Caplan is currently the founding head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. He is the head of the ethics program in the Global Institute for Public Health at NYU. He is also the author or editor of more than 35 books, and 735 papers in peer-reviewed journals of medicine, science, philosophy, bioethics, and health policy. 


Screening and Discussion of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein with Mark Edwards

Saturday, October 27, 2:00 PM - Register

Image result for mark edwards sacred heartDirector James Whale's 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein created our iconic image of Frankenstein's monster. It was also one of the first sound films to convince the studios that there were profits in scares. The sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, was one of cinema's earliest horror-comedies. This program will screen both films and discuss the works as adaptations of Shelley's novel, and take a look at the craft of one of early cinema's most talented filmmakers.

Mark Edwards teaches media and film studies at Sacred Heart University.  


Frankenstein’s Creature: A Monster for Its Time—and Ours with Dr. Mark Schenker                

Monday, October 29, 7:00 PM - Register

On New Year’s Day 1818, Frankenstein  was published anonymously in London by 20-year-old Mary Shelley, wife of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and daughter of the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. It would become one of the most influential novels of the 19th or any other century, even as it remains a work most people know through cinema or popular culture rather than from having read the book.

In honor of its 200th anniversary, Dr. Mark Schenker of Yale College will discuss the novel as a reflection of its cultural milieu, as an expertly crafted construction of first-person narrators, and as an examination of grand themes of Science and Art, and of Creation and Birth. Patrons are strongly encouraged to read the book before attending the lecture. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk or inquire about inter-library loan.


Book Discussion: Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley led by Barb Jennes

Tuesday, October 30, 2:00 PM - Register

FrankensteinThe world's most famous work of horror fiction: a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. The discussion is led by retired English teacher and poet Barb Jennes.

Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel presents the epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness.

The Library has copies of the Penguin Classics edition of 1831, which contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Bysshe Shelley's preface to the first edition. Inquire at the Circulation Desk for copies.


Happy Halloween! Frankenstein Movie Marathon

Wednesday, October 31, 11 AM - 4:30 PM - No Registration








Drop-in during the day to see classic Frankenstein-inspired movies. Refreshments will be served! No registration.

11 AM  Frankenstein, 1931, 71 mins., NR

12:15 PM  Bride of Frankenstein, 1935, 75 mins., NR

1:35 PM  The Curse of Frankenstein, 1957, 83 mins., NR

3:05 PM  Young Frankenstein, 1974, 108 mins., PG


Ogre Enchanted with Gale Carson Levine

Saturday, November 10, 2:00 PM - Register

Join us in welcoming Gail Carson Levine, author of the beloved winner of the Newbery Medal Ella Enchanted, as she discusses the new companion novel, Ogre Enchanted. Books will be available for sale thanks to Books on the Common. All ages are welcome! Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Programs for Children:


Frankie’s Spooktacular by Mad Science

Monday, Oct. 8, 11:30 - 12:15 PM, for ages 3 - 6

Dr. Frankenstein’s Shock-Tacular by Mad Science

Monday, October 8, 1:00 - 1:45 PM, grades 2 - 5

Reading Is a Family Affair: Classic Starts: Frankenstein

Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 - 7:30 PM, families with children in grades 3 - 5

Franken-Pumpkin Decorating Workshop

Saturday, October 13, 1:00 - 2:00 PM, families with children in grades K - 5

Franken-Make & Take

Thursday, October 11, 5:00 - 8:00 PM (while supplies last) for grades K - 5

Monstrous Make-up

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 - 7:30 PM, for ages 8+ with an adult

Franken-Pumpkin Decorating Contest Displayed (winners announced on Halloween)

October 14 - October 31

Frankenstein Scavenger Hunt in the Children’s Department for grades K-5

October 1 - October 31

Frankenstein Storytime, all ages

Saturday October 27, 10:30 - 11:00 AM


 Back to Top


Program Sponsors & Partners

Image result for friends of the ridgefield libraryStill Alive! Celebrating 200 Years of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein programs are made possible thanks to the Friends of the Library.


Library Materials

Fiction and non-fiction books are shelved on the Library's Upper Level. Audiobooks on CD are housed on the Upper Level and DVDs may be found in the Bossidy Commons on the Main Level. Please check the New Fiction and new Non-fiction displays on the Upper Level for many new titles published or acquired in honor of this year's anniversary.

The author's works and many titles about or inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are also available in eBooks or downloadable audio version from hoopla, OverDrive, Project Gutenberg and other web-based sevrices. Check the Library catalog for availability.

Mary Shelley in the News: Recommended Links

Frankenstein in Charts - The Guardian



Back to Top