'It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open ...' What you create can destroy you. One freezing morning, a lone man wandering across the Arctic ice caps is rescued from starvation by a ship's captain. That man is Victor Frankenstein and his story is one of ambition, murder and revenge. As a young scientist he pushed moral boundaries in order to cross the final scientific frontier and create life. But his unnatural creation is a monster stitched together from grave-robbed body parts who has no place in the world, and his life can only lead to tragedy. Written when she was only nineteen, Shelley's gothic tale is one of the greatest horror stories ever written.
Mary Shelley was born in London on 17 August 1797. Her mother, the celebrated feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, died a few days after her birth.Her father, William Godwin, a well-known anarchist and atheist writer, tutored Mary. In 1814, when she was sixteen, she fell in love with the married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and they eloped to France. In 1816 the couple travelled to Lake Geneva to spend the summer with the poet Byron. Mary was inspired to write Frankenstein after Byron arranged a ghost story competition during their stay. In the autumn of 1816 Shelley's pregnant wife drowned herself in the Serpentine in Hyde Park and Shelley immediately married Mary. The couple had four children together but only one son survived infancy. They lived in Italy until Percy's death in a boating accident in 1822. Mary continued to write until her death in London on 1 February 1851. She is buried in Bournemouth.