Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

"Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus" is an 1818 novel written by English author Mary Shelley. 

It is considered the first true science fiction story, though it is infused with elements of gothic and horror. Frankenstein tremendously influenced modern horror literature, theatre and film.

She started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London, when she was 20. Her name first appeared in the second edition published in Paris in 1821.

Shelley travelled through Europe in 1815 along the river Rhine in Germany, stopping in Gernsheim, 11 miles away from Frankenstein Castle, where two centuries before, an alchemist engaged in experiments. 

She then went to Geneva, Switzerland, where much of the story takes place.

The occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband Percy B.Shelley. In 1816, Mary, Percy and Lord Byron had a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made, inspiring the novel.