While many of us may know more about her most famous creations - Dr Frankenstein and his monster - you might not know that the life of Mary Shelley was almost as exciting, sad and surprising as her fiction.
Daughter of feminist rebel Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary grew up with her half-sister Claire. The pair fell for two of the most famous romantic poets of all time – Mary with Percy Bysshe Shelley (whom she eloped with at age 16) and Claire with Lord Byron (yup, bad news).It was while travelling with Percy, Claire and Byron that Mary came to write one of the greatest works of gothic fiction – Frankenstein. The group were stuck inside on a dark and stormy night (seriously, we’re not making this up) and challenged one another to write a scary story. Mary rightfully won with her tale of man playing God. Take that, Byron.
As if Mary wasn’t enough of a legend, after Percy died in a shipwreck, Mary supposedly kept part of her husband’s remains wrapped in pages of his own poetry. There are claims that it was his heart she kept but, no matter what, that’s probably still the most goth thing you’ve heard today.