The Vampyre: A Tale

John William Polidori
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"I breathe freely in the neighbourhood of this lake; the ground upon which I tread has been subdued from the earliest ages; the principal objects which immediately strike my eye, bring to my recollection scenes, in which man acted the hero and was the chief object of interest. Not to look back to earlier times of battles and sieges, here is the bust of Rousseau-here is a house with an inscription denoting that the Genevan philosopher first drew breath under its roof. A little out of the town is Ferney, the residence of Voltaire; where that wonderful, though certainly in many respects contemptible, character, received, like the hermits of old, the visits of pilgrims, not only from his own nation, but from the farthest boundaries of Europe.


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About the Author:

John William Polidori (1795-1821) was an English writer and physician. He is credited as one of the creators of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction and is also known for his associations with the Romantic movement. "The Vampyre: A Tale" was the first vampire novel published in English(the first notable appearance of a vampire in creative literature being the short German poem "Der Vampir," written in 1748, by Heinrich August Ossenfelder). In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron and his guests, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Godwin (Shelley) and her half sister Claire Clermont, and Dr. John William Polidori, then Lord Byron's traveling physician, were staying at the Villa Diodati, by Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The group decided to have a friendly competition to see who could write the best horror story. It was the genesis of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and of Polidori's "The Vampyre: A Tale.""


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