Housebound by inclement weather at a villa near Geneva in 1817 in what has come to be known as, "The Year Without A Summer", a gifted group of writers passed the time by reading then-popular ghost stories and contemplating "the nature of the principle of life." Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shelley's wife Mary, who was then only nineteen, all agreed to each compose ghost stories. Mary Shelley's story came to her during a restive night: "I saw 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." The result of her vision, which she later published as a full length novel, became the most famous and compelling horror story of all time.
This performance by Julie Harris delivers a chilling reading of the original work as told by the young Mary Shelley. Curl up on a lonely evening, with lights low and perhaps a storm raging outside and return to the 19th Century to experience the classic evocation of the macabre.