MARY SHELLEY was born in London in 1797, daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, famous radical writers of the day. In 1814 she met and soon fell in love with the then-unknown Percy Bysshe Shelley. In December 1816, after Shelley's first wife committed suicide, Mary and Percy married. They lived in Italy from 1818 until 1822, when Shelley drowned, whereupon Mary returned to London to live as a professional writer of novels, stories, and essays until her death in 1851.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer. He both cofounded the Guadalajara International Film Festival and formed his own production company—the Tequila Gang. However, he is most recognized for his Academy Award-winning film, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Hellboy film franchise. He has received Nebula and Hugo awards, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and is an avid collector and student of arcane memorabilia and weird fiction.

ELIZABETH KOSTOVA is the author of the bestselling novel The Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. - (Penguin Putnam)