On ne badine pas avec l'amour

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Alfred de Musset

The novel begins with a preface that is signed by the author. However, scholars and critics generally believe that her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was the one who actually created the preface and attached Mary's name to it. The preface indicates that the novel was started while on vacation in the Swiss Alps during the summer. The weather was surprisingly rainy and cool for the time of year when Shelley was in the Alps. Nights were spent by the fire, reading ghost stories from Germany. There were several people there, as Mary had traveled with Percy and a group of other literary-minded individuals. Because of the stories they were reading they were all inspired to write their own ghost stories. The only completed project from anyone in the group was Frankenstein.

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