Monday, April 11, 2016


We have seen in other posts HERE at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD that book publishers were quick to capitalize on the success of Hollywood movies. Not yet commonly known as "horror films" the earliest Universal "mysteries" or "thrillers" were also subjects for books published by Grosset & Dunlap, A. L. Burt and Reader's Library, London, to name a few.

The FRANKENSTEIN photoplay edition, subtitled. "A soul-chilling experiment into the Great Unknown", was first published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1931, not long after the movie was released. It contained 6 blue-tinted photos from the movie (seen below, and from sources other than the book sold at auction). The first, a full-page portrait of Boris Karloff in Jack Pierce's famous makeup (a test version not seen in the final film), is used as a frontispiece to the title page.

This edition was recently up for auction and sold as a "fine" copy in a "very good" dust jacket. The worn condition of the photo seen in the auction catalogue, along with the description, would suggest a lesser condition to this collector than that described. It sold for $1,375.00.

Here is the description from the auction lot:

Mary Shelley. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, [1931]. "Illustrated with scenes from the Universal Photoplay." Octavo. xiv, 240 pages. Publisher's red cloth with titles in black on upper board and spine. In original illustrated dust jacket depicting Boris Karloff as the monster and Mae Clarke in a deep swoon. Binding very lightly scuffed, few faint spots on boards. Partially erased bookseller's pencil notations front free endpaper. Dust jacket with edge and fold wear, slight fold separations and edge tears, small paper chips, approximately 1 x .5 inch paper loss at head of spine panel, creases and light soiling. A near fine copy in a very good dust jacket.    

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