Welcome to Dark Universe

The Hauntingly Beautiful & Evocatively Gothic 200th Edition of “Frankenstein” You Simply Must Own!


Rockport offers “a hauntingly beautiful and evocatively gothic” 200th Anniversary Edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.


Image provided by Rockport.

A few years ago, I decided it was time to go back and re-read some of the most influential of gothic literature works, most notably the stories that went on to inspire the classic Universal Monsters films, or basically the books that served as John Logan’s inspiration to create Showtime’s Penny Dreadful series. At this time, my (not so) local Barnes & Noble offered a few editions of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus” but none quite as hauntingly beautiful and evocatively gothic as Rockport’s 200th Anniversary Edition that just released this month.

Rockport Publishers, an imprint of The Quarto Group, have a wonderful series of books under the umbrella title “Classics Reimagined.” Rockport’s “Classics Reimagined” series offers engaging new editions of titles such as “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a spooky collected edition of stories and poems written by Edgar Allan Poe, which Rockport was kind enough to send my way. That’s just to name a few of their many offerings. With an emphasis on introducing a new generation of readers to the classics, “The Rockport Classics Reimagined series is a library of stunning collector’s editions of unabridged classic novels illustrated by contemporary artists from around the world. Each artist offers his or her own unique, visual, interpretation of the most well-loved, widely read, and avidly collected literature from renowned authors.” This is where Mary Shelley’s timeless story currently finds itself in its bicentennial year – a new addition to the growing number of stories collected under Rockport’s “Classics Reimagined” series.

The 200th Anniversary Edition of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is truly the version book lovers, collectors, and Universal Monster fans simply must own. The 256 paged, unabridged hardcover has the look and feel of your favorite textbook from school that you really didn’t want to part with, or that most desired edition of a story that you always wanted to get, but could never afford. The Classics Reimagined edition of “Frankenstein” is really a work of art, thanks to the illustrations of artist David Plunkert.


Art by David Plunkert. Image courtesy of Rockport.

David Plunkert, the principal and primary illustrator at Spur Design in Baltimore, Maryland has created “detailed and evocative imagery” that runs throughout the 256-page, unabridged, hardcover. While his work is entirely original and does not reflect previous adaptations of Mary Shelley’s iconic work, there is still a massive appeal to devoted Universal Monsters fans, and in reading through “Frankenstein” with accompanying illustrations by David Plunkert, it’s hard not to imagine what a modern day adaptation of “Frankenstein” could be like if it allowed itself to be inspired by Mr. Plunkert’s art. With director Bill Condon’s The Bride of Frankenstein being developed, as the follow up to 2017’s The Mummy, and the second installment in “Dark Universe”, it would be quite the visual treat to see that film designed with David Plunkert’s vision in mind.


Art by David Plunkert. Image courtesy of Rockport.

One of the strongest additions the the legacy of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” that Rockport has added to it on its 200th anniversary is the essence of how humanly dark Shelley’s story is, and of how her work ascends to the levels of Greek tragedy; man is welcomed to a new world of gods and monsters. Artist David Plunkert evokes the humanity of the monster and the arrogance of the doctor, while creating a fever dream like environment for us to awaken in and rediscover Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” For its bicentennial year, Classics Reimagined edition of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the edition to pick up, read for the first time, or rediscover alongside a late night viewing of James Whale’s Frankenstein.

UMU gives Rockport’s “Classics Reimagined” edition five out of five stars!

Classics Reimagined version of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is available now, wherever good books are sold!


By Mary Shelley | Illustrated by David Plunkert

ISBN: 9781631593970 | On-Sale Date: January 16, 2018

$25 US · $32.50 CAN · 256 pages · Hardcover Book

Rockport Publishers, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group


  • About the Author

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. She was married to the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in Somers Town, in London, in 1797. She was the second daughter of famed feminist, philosopher, educator, and writer Mary Wollstonecraft. Her father was the equally famous anarchist philosopher, novelist, journalist, and atheist dissenter William Godwin. Her mother died of puerperal fever ten days after Mary was born.

  • About the Artist

David Plunkert is the principal and primary illustrator at Spur Design in Baltimore, Maryland. The firm designs posters, covers, logos, brochures and websites for publishers and corporations. His illustrations have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and LA Weekly, among many others. His steampunkish illustration and collage style give his characters a spooky, surrealistic quality.

Steven & UMU would like to give a big thank you to Ms. Lydia Rasmussen of The Quarto Group for making this review possible. Your assistance and friendship is greatly appreciated.

(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)

About the author

Steven Biscotti

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) He stands 5'7" tall and prides himself on being the same height as Tom Cruise. Steven's favorite monster movie? "The Mummy (1999)."

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.