Frankenstein, and his monster, have loomed large in the public imagination since their creation in 1816. But the fact that their author was a pregnant teenage runaway, rejected by her family and cast out by society when she wrote her novel is less well-known. As is that she is credited with inventing the genre of science fiction.Publishing to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, Mary's Monster is the compelling, and beautifully illustrated, story of Mary Shelley's troubled life - her fractured bond with her beloved father, and her elopement to Europe with the mercurial (and married) poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at the age of 16. In 1816, after the couple spent a wayward, dream-like summer in Switzerland with Lord Byron, the idea for Frankenstein was conceived. Though her life was punctuated by a series of emotional shocks and personal tragedies (the death of her mother soon after her birth, her sister's suicide, the deaths of 3 of her 4 children, and, finally, Percy Shelley's drowning accident), Mary remained firmly resolute in her desire to establish herself as an author and support herself and her remaining child with her pen - in spite of the restrictions faced by women in Victorian society.Part biography, part fantasy and part feminist allegory, Mary's Monster is an engrossing take on one remarkable woman. And her monster.