2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
There was no summer in 1816, because the massive eruption of Mount Tambora caused a global volcanic winter with heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures. Mary and Percy Shelley holed up in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva with Lord Byron, who suggested they pass the time with a ghost story competition. Mary based her contribution on a terrifying dream, in which she’d seen ‘the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.’ Her iconic novel has since become the archetypal modern myth.