Course Description: On a dark and stormy night in 1816 Mary Shelley sat before the fireplace reading ghost stories aloud with Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont, and Dr. John Polidori. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the best horror tale. When Mary Shelley woke up terrified by a nightmare vision of a "pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together . . . the hideous phantasm of a man," she knew she had a winner. The next morning she began composing Frankenstein.