|12-26-2007, 05:20 PM||#1|
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Polidori, John William: The Vampyre. v1, 26 Dec 2007
"The Vampyre" is a short story written by John William Polidori. Many consider this to be the story that started the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. The story was an immediate popular success.
In the early 1800's, an elegant nobleman, named Lord Ruthven, appears in London and becomes the talk of high society. His cool demeanor, smooth pale skin and grey eyes make him stand out. As a result, the ladies start to notice. Several of them become infatuated with him. (Damn my blue eyes!)
Later, a young gentleman named Aubrey decides to tag along with Lord Ruthven, hoping to learn more about him.
It seems that our good Lord Ruthven isn't all that he's cracked up to be. He has some pretty interesting habits that he isn't too keen on the public knowing.
Various undead shenanigans, brief romances and plenty of flowing blood made this little gem an influence on almost all future vampire stories.
Interesting to note that this story was the result of the same little "let's tell a spooky story" party that spawned Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The guests were stuck in the house due to rain, and everyone had to tell/write a story to entertain the others. Houseguest Lord Byron came up with the fragments of this while brainstorming.
Polidori, who was Lord Byron's physician, took those initial ideas and wrote this story. In fact, at the time of publication, the general public thought that Lord Byron was the one who wrote it. But alas, no, it was just his physician stealing his idea.
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