To celebrate the publication of The Monsters We Deserve, a reappraisal of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, prizewinning author Marcus Sedgwick and gothic expert Dr Sam George go head to head in the battle of the books, Frankenstein v. Dracula.
The creature of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, one of the most influential tales of horror of all time, first awoke two hundred years ago. Eighty years later Bram Stoker’s Dracula emerged from the crypt – but which is better?
“Do monsters always stay in the book where they were born? Are they content to live out their lives on paper, and never step foot into the real world?
“I am suddenly aware of the space of the house; the air it occupies and which occupies it, of the hanging weight of it, high up here at five thousand feet… And down in the gorge, ringing chasms throat roaring water into fathomless depths, unseen by Humankind and all but the bravest of beasts, while I sit and converse with a woman long dead.”
Marcus Sedgwick is the bestselling author of over thirty books. He has been shortlisted seven times for the Carnegie Medal and other major prizes such as the Costa, Guardian and Blue Peter Book Award. In 2014 he received the eminent Printz Award for his novel Midwinterblood. Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for Revolver in 2011 and The Ghosts of Heaven in 2016, giving him the most citations to date for America’s most notable book prize for writing for young adults.
Dr Sam George is a senior lecturer in Literature in the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire. She is known for her work on Gothic and vampire literature and culture, and is the convener of the Open Graves, Open Minds project, which investigates vampires and the undead in modern culture.
Photo credit: Maureen Hansman.