'Frankenstein' was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley. It is a Gothic novel a man trying to play God. It is deeply disturbing and was written after the death of Shelley's first child.
Mary Shelley's life was indeed unorthodox. The first hint of the strange life she was going to lead was shown when she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a radicalist novelist and poet. 'Frankenstein' was the result of a challenge issued by Lord Byron to a group of his friends one night in a house owned by Byron on the shores of Lake Geneva. These friends included Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Poliadori (whose answer to the challenge was the first vampyre novel 'The Vampyre'). The novel was spawned from a nightmare Mary had about a young man kneeling horrified beside something he had created, something alive.
At the beginning of the book Victor Frankenstein explains how his parents came to be together and a little about their lives until he was born. He then tells how his 'cousin' Elizabeth is adopted by his parents. Later he gained a sibling, a brother and when his parents had another son they ceased their wandering life completely and settled down in Geneva. When he was seventeen Victor Frankenstein was going to go to University but this was postponed when his mother died. When he finally got to Ingolstadt University he studied Natural Philosophy which led to him creating a human being, whom he deserted. At the end of chapter five Henry Clerval, Victor's best friend, arrives in Ingolstadt. Even though this can be told in a short paragraph it takes Shelley five chapters. This is because she is trying to build up an atmosphere at the beginning of her novel.