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Friday, 7 October 2011

Vampire - John Polidori of Romantic Movement/Fantasy Fiction - The Vampyre

John Polidori
John Polidori was born in London in 1795 of an Italian father who was a political exile and an English mother who was a governess. He had many brothers and sisters too. During his education he went to Edinburgh and studied medicine where he obtained a degree as a doctor at the age of nineteen in 1815.

During his short life, he was one of so called 'in crowd' of the Romantic Movement - the young toffs of the early nineteenth century. This fraction of young people, led by Lord Byron, was a group that stayed by Lake Geneva and tried each, to write a ghost story. Among the group was John Polidori who was employed as the young Lord Byron's personnel physician. Also present was Percy Bysshe Shelly - a renowned poet, and his future wife Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin who, as Mary Shelly, would write the famous Frankenstein story.

John Polidori was credited with writing the first English version vampire story, though his short novella would be over shadowed by Bram Stoker's Dracula in later years.

John Polidori wrote The Vampyre and it was published in 1819 under Lord Byron's name. Lord Byron and John Polidori both agreed The Vampyre was written by John Polidori and there was some confusion concerning this.

In 1821 at the age of just twenty five, John Polidori was found dead - some suspected suicide because of mounting debts, though a coroner stated natural causes.

His novella - The Vampyre is in the public domain today and can be read on many sites as a freebie. The link below will take you to such a site.


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