by Mary Shelley
There are three books which I consider to be my favourite classics; Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I read all of these classics while I was at university, and while Romanticism is not a literary movement I find all that interesting (I'm much more of a Victorian girl) I am glad my Romanticism module gave me the opportunity to read Frankenstein, which has to be one of the most brilliant books I've ever read.
That Mary Shelley began writing this when she was 18 astounds me; the ideas she tackles in this story are so thought-provoking, from the conflicts between science and morality to the consequences of creating a life and what it really means to play God. There's a reason this classic is so many people's favourite, it really is a masterpiece.