Happy 212th anniversary birthday today (well technically August 30) to English writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Her Gothic novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus is considered her most famous work and created one of the world's best known monsters. She was inspired to write the work by a spontaneous creative writing competition during the rainy summer of 1816, in Lord Byron's Villa on the Lake Geneva. Frankenstein is not, as often assumed today, the name of the monster in the novel. The monster remains nameless. It is instead the name of the monster's creator – Victor Frankenstein – on whom the beast later takes revenge (because Victor Frankenstein would not create a mate for him). The story has become famous through numerous movies based on it with Boris Karloff most famous for playing the 1931 Hollywood version and it is the basis for a parody-character “Frank N Furter” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Mary Shelley was married to Percy B. Shelley, one of the most famous English romantic poets. So read her works or watch a scary movie to mark the occasion. Portrait: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, oil on canvas by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; in the National Portrait Gallery, London.