Did you know that John Polidori MD (1795-1821), an Italian educated in the UK, wrote the story ‘The Vampire’? He graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1815 and became personal physician to George (Lord) Byron. In a house near Lake Geneva he met Percy Bysshe Shelly and they began writing ghost stories. Polidori’s story ‘The Vampire’ was the first modern vampire story published in English. The story was originally attributed to Byron in 1819 but the provenance was corrected later. The main character in ‘The Vampire’ was Lord Ruthven who was to become the modern prototype of the vampire, aristocratic and endowed with ‘black charm’. Polidori also probably had some influence on the story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Polidori died in London at the age of 26 years. Although the coroner ruled that he died of natural causes many believe that he died by suicide.
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McConnell Scott A. The Poet, the Physician and the birth of the Modern Vampire. 2014. The Public Domain Review.