Mary Shelley, book cover
To mark the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein's publication, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have published a biography of its author, Mary Shelley.
Aimed at a teen audience, Catherine Reef's riveting biography reads like a dark gothic novel, filled with scandal, death, drama, and chronicles one of the strangest love stories in literary history.
The brief originally suggested including a portrait of Mary Shelley as the main image but I there was a stronger alternative to convey the story.
I hit on the idea of a human heart, or “organ of the monster” to represent several symbolic connections to Mary Shelly’s story:
- The organ of the monster (with obvious stitch marks)
- Percy Shelly's heart which was taken from his funeral pyre and buried with Mary Shelley
- Love and romance themes in the story
- The story's atheist themes (a corrupt version of the Christian 'Sacred Heart' icon)