Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.

Happy birthday to Mary Shelley, born on this day in 1797. Her Gothic novel Frankenstein defines the genre. Earlier this year, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the famous gathering of literary geniuses that brought us Shelley’s iconic work, along with Lord Byron’s “Augustus Darvell” and John Polidori’s The Vampyre.

Here’s a reading list on Mary Shelley and that literature-changing gathering:

Image credit: Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.