Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell (1800-1868)
This is the season for spooky tales, and one influential piece of writing that inspired many scary stories is Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The 280-page tome was published anonymously in 1818. Shelley's name was added as author on the second edition, published in 1823, when she was only 25 years old.
At the time surrounding the writing of the book, Shelley had faced tragic events that affected her, and thus her creative endeavors. To quote the linked article,
"Before she started Frankenstein, Mary gave birth to a daughter, Clara, who died six weeks later. (In fact, only one of Mary’s four children lived to adulthood.) Soon after the baby died,she wrote in her journal, “Dream that my little baby came to life again—that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it by the fire & it lived—I awake & find no baby—I think about the little thing all day.” This circumstance, as well as the suicide of her half-sister, must have contributed to the novel."