Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Brief History of Vampire Fiction

The author who invented the vampire story thought he was being funny.
The Vampyre,” first published anonymously in 1819, was taken to be the work of the famous poet (and early 19th-century equivalent of a tabloid celebrity) Lord Byron, but turned out to be by Byron’s personal physician (and devoted hanger-on), Dr. John Polidori.
Its plot nugget was by Byron, in an uncompleted story dashed off for that ghost-story competition Mary Shelley (then Mary Godwin) won with Frankenstein, but Polidori worked it up into something publishable which, nearly two centuries on, remains smart, tart and readable

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