a point of view to the imagination
This diction, like the subtitle and the epigraph, is meant to drape Frankenstein with a seriousness of purpose not customary among popular gothic novels. To students of British Romanticism, it is language that is characteristic of Percy Bysshe Shelley's own practices in the prefatory matter to his poems. He frequently accentuates his attempt to transcend through imaginative means the normative, or "ordinary," thoughts and passions of humanity. See, for example, the first paragraph of the Preface to "Alastor" (published in March 1816) or his explanation of the use of dramatic imagery in the Preface to The Cenci (1820). The reader will discover that the uses of the imagination are likewise to become a recurring theme in the novel.