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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access November 24, 2017

The Frankenstein Meme: Penny Dreadful and The Frankenstein Chronicles as Adaptations

Barbara Braid
From the journal Open Cultural Studies


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) is one of the most adaptable and adapted novels of all time, spurring countless renditions in film, television, comic books, cartoons, and other products of popular culture. Like a meme, this story adapts itself to changing cultural contexts by replication with mutation. This article examines the adaptive and appropriative features of two recent examples of such renditions in the form of television series, Penny Dreadful (2014-2016) and The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015). It discusses palimpsestic appropriations used in these shows, their depiction of Frankenstein and his Creatures, and above all, the themes and their meanings which these twenty-first-century appropriations of Frankenstein offer.


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Received: 2017-09-01
Accepted: 2017-11-05
Published Online: 2017-11-24
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

© 2017

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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