Uansett, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) var en engelsk forfatter som skrev romaner, noveller, drama, essay, biografier og reiseskildringer. Hun er best kjent for denne gotiske romanen, Frankenstein; eller den moderne Prometheus som ble utgitt i 1818. Smakebiten her er fra hennes introduksjon til boken, skrevet i 1817, hvor hun redegjør for bakgrunnen til romanens tilblivelse. I 1816 var hun og mannen i Sveits og ble kjent med Lord Byron. Sommeren var regntung og de tilbrakte flere dager innendørs med å lese spøkelseshistorier.
"We will each write a ghost story," said Lord Byron; and his proposition was acceded to. There were four of us. The noble author began a tale, a fragment of which he printed at the en of his poem of Mazeppa. [...] I busied myself to think of a story, - a story to rival those which had excited us to this task. One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror - one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name. I thought and pondered - vainly. I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations. "Have you thought of a story?" I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative.