Author(s): Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
'Never did I behold a vision so horrible as his face, of such loathsome, yet appalling hideousness'. A twisted, upside-down creation myth, Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale lays bare the dark side of science, and the horror within us all. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, who plunders graveyards to create a new being from the bodies of the dead - but whose botched creature causes nothing but murder and destruction. Written after a nightmare when its author was only eighteen, "Frankenstein" gave birth to the modern science fiction novel. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was the daughter of the philosopher William Godwin, who disowned her when she eloped with the married man and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They married after the suicide of his first wife. It was their friend Lord Byron, with whom the couple spent a summer in Switzerland, who suggested that she and Percy each write a horror story. Frankenstein was the result, inspired by a nightmare Shelley had when she was eighteen years old and published by the time she was twenty-one.