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In addition to this, the book was the result of a contest posed by the Shelleys and Gordon Lord Byron. When Mary's husband Percy first read it, he was so shocked and appalled that such a work came from such a young (18 years old) and impressionable young WOMAN that he burned it. She rewrote it completely from memory, and the public both loathed it and loved it simultaneously. Much like anything from Stephen King is both loathed for its gross contents and foul language but loved for its amazingly wonderful entertainment value. Think too, that Darwin's Survival of the Fittest theory was fairly new, and so many advancements in science were coming to fruition. The book was just another short leap from what the public saw as already "true" in their world at the time. The first science fiction, if you will.
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