Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Frankenstein (in Context) | Author: Mary Shelley | Ch: Letter 1

The names Robert Walton and Margaret Saville establish the two as classically English, which gives the novel a reassuringly British anchorage for events that involve foreign names and almost entirely foreign venues. Some of Shelley's readers might link Robert with Izaak Walton, whose most famous work is The Compleat Angler, 1653. As for Mrs. Saville, the spelling adds an "l" but the pronunciation recalls Savile Row in London, famous for its custom-tailors associated in 1818 with Beau Brummel and other Regency bucks.  

Shelley uses throughout names with connotative values, some personal to her, we'll see. More important than any name is the fact that the monster never has one, lending further poignancy to his repeated question, "Who am I?" 

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