On a night of thunder and lightning in 1816, 18 year old Mary Shelley sat down to write Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. From the moment of its publication only two years later, readers have been wondering, as Mary put it, “How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?” Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was the daughter of two of the most radical philosophers in England — and the lover (and later, wife) of notorious poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was no stranger to scandal: free love, vegetarianism, anti-war protests, boycotts, and music shaped the Bohemian lifestyles of the five amazing people gathered on the shores of a Swiss lake, in the “Year Without a Summer”. Outcasts takes readers behind the scenes, to reveal the surprisingly contemporary thoughts and feelings of Mary and Percy, their friend Lord Byron, and the other guests at the “most famous literary party in history.” Readers will find new insights into the origin of the most famous monster in the world, while showing us the stunning new science, avant-garde politics and social turmoil of Europe in the wake of the Napoleonic wars. The world was on the brink of a new era, when anything and everything was possible, and in this brave new world a new literature — and a timeless Creature — was born.
“A remarkable achievement. Beautifully written, eerily authentic and never less than compelling, Stegall’s fictionalized account of an extraordinary moment in literary history held me in thrall.”— Miranda Seymour, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; author of Mary Shelley (New York Times Notable Book and Washington Post Best Book of 2001)
“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the greatest stories ever told, but Sarah Stegall’s haunting, effective, brutally honest Outcasts shows that the story of the author’s life in general and the summer that inspired the novel in particular are at least as compelling.”— Keith R.A. DeCandido, author of numerous tie-in books for Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, X-Men, Stargate SG-1 and others.
“Vividly brings to life those tempestuous days and nights in that celebrated summer of 1816, while delving deeply into the heart and mind of the future Mary Shelley to unearth the profound psychological and philosophical conflicts that truly gave life to her immortal creation. Electrifying!”— Greg Cox, New York Times bestselling author of The Librarians and The Lost Lamp and The Dark Knight Rises
“With Outcasts, Sarah Stegall twists the origins of Frankenstein into a new and utterly fascinating shape. Brilliant, devious and beautifully written. Highly recommended.”— Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Kill Switch and The Wolfman. Five-time Bram Stoker Award winner.