Biography of Dr. Victor Frankenstein Part 1

About the famous Dr. Victor Frankenstein who created the Frankenstein monster, biography and history of the character.



Dr. Victor Frankenstein, or "the modern Prometheus," as he was called by his contemporaries, was born in Naples, Italy, around 1775. Ny nationality, however, he was Swiss, the eldest son of Alphonse Frankenstein. A devoted public servant, Alphonse remained single until late in life, when he fell in love with Caroline Beaufort, the orphaned daughter of a close friend. He nursed her through a nervous breakdown after the death of her invalid father, and the long convalescence served to spark a romance that culminated in marriage. Alphonse retired from public life, and the happy couple removed to Italy, where Victor, their firstborn, was lovingly cared for.

When Victor was five, the Frankensteins adopted Elizabeth Lavenza, a golden-haired, blue-eyed orphan who had been placed in a foster home on the shore of Lake Como. After the arrival of Victor's brother, William, two years later, the Frankensteins returned to establish a permanent home in Geneva. Here Victor met Henry Clerval, the schoolmate who was to become his closet friend.

By nature, Victor was both violent in temper and deeply passionate. But he soon channeled his energies into the metaphysical arts, and before long he concentrated his attention on natural philosophy. The young genius rapidly determined that what others before him had only dreamed of--discovering the elixir of life--was within the realm of possibility.

At 17, Victor enrolled at the University of Ingolstadt owing to his father's wish that he become familiar with the customs of other countries. Before he could depart from Geneva, however, the first of a series of misfortunes occurred. Elizabeth, who had been gravely ill with scarlet fever, was saved by the nursing of her foster mother, but not before the disease struck the devoted mother and proved fatal. The loss deeply affected Frankenstein, causing the reserveed young man to withdraw further into himself.

Once at Ingolstadt, Victor came in contact with M. Krempe, a professor of natural philosophy, who attempted to redirect the youth's studies through a long series of his own bombastic lectures. However, on alternate days, when the uncouth Krempe did not lecture, Victor's mentor was M. Waldman, a professor of chemistry. Under Waldman's gentle urging, Victor was introduced to the wonders of the chemistry laboratory, and with this introduction, his destiny was fixed. He threw himself into year-round study of human anatomy and the evolution of life. Availing himself of burial vaults and charnel houses, he experimented, observed, and analyzed ceaselessly, until he at last achieved the incredible capability of bestowing life upon inert matter.

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