Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron
Separately, these three left a lasting mark on English letters, but together became English literature's most notorious threesome. Shelley fell deeply in love with Mary Godwin—but because he was married, the two would meet secretly at the grave of Mary's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft (the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman) at St. Pancras Churchyard. Much to her father's dismay, they married and ran off to France, leaving his pregnant wife behind. And Shelley would never renounce his philosophy of "free love." He and his friend Lord Byron proceeded to knock up practically every woman with a pulse, including Mary's stepsister, Claire. These indiscretions and their tragic ends are chronicled in Janet Todd's excellent feminist history Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle. Soon Byron, Shelley, and Mary would find themselves in front of a fireplace (hopefully en flagrant) betting on who could write the best scary story. Mary won.