The Contest

Few people know that the first draft of the novel Frankenstein came from a contest. Indeed, Mary Godwin (later known as Mary Shelley), Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Pilodori, and Claire Clairmont used to visit Lord Byron during the summer at his house in Geneva (if you did not know, the story Frankestein is set in Swizterland).

In 1816, the bad weather made it impossible for them to enjoy the nature outdoors. To entertain themselves, they read various German ghost stories. Byron proposed the idea that everyone should write their own supernatural/gothic story and see would write the best one.

One night, Mary Shelley had a dream about a corpse that came back to life. Her dream inspired her to write Frankenstein. At first, she wrote it as a short story. However, with Percy’s encouragement, she wrote the full story, which turned out to be a novel.


Buzwell,Greg. “Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and the Villa Diodati.” British Library, Accessed 4 April 2017.


4 Replies to “The Contest”

  1. Whoah!
    Do you know if she won that contest?
    I find the fact that weather and her nightmare led to the creation of Shelley’s novel absolutely amazing. It just seems that this masterpiece was destined to be made.
    Great post
    Philippe Boucher

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question Philippe! I never found the answer anywhere and I looked for it but it is like if this information is not important to the creation of the story… Maybe Savard has the answer? I never thought to ask him… ?


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