E.J. Gold's Galaxy Ezine: Science Fiction, Fantasy . . .
During the rainy summer of 1816, the "Year Without a Summer," the world was locked in a long cold volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815.
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, aged 18, and her lover, who later became her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Because of the climate change in Europe that year, the weather was consistently too cold and dreary that summer to enjoy the outdoor holiday activities they had planned, so the group retired indoors until dawn.
Reading ghost stories by the fireplace at Byron's villa, Lord Byron suggested they each write a horror story. Mary Godwin conceived the idea for Frankenstein in a "waking dream" and wrote it during the next year. It was a sensation in its day.