The legacy of John Polidori

The Romantic vampire and its progeny

Edited by Sam George and Bill Hughes

The legacy of John Polidori
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526166388
  • Publish Date: Oct 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6638-8
    • Pages: 352
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: October 2024


    John Polidori's novella The Vampyre (1819) is perhaps 'the most influential horror story of all time' (Frayling). Polidori's story transformed the shambling, mindless monster of folklore into a sophisticated, seductive aristocrat that stalked London society rather than being confined to the hinterlands of Eastern Europe. Polidori's Lord Ruthven was thus the ancestor of the vampire as we know it. This collection explores the genesis of Polidori's vampire. It then tracks his bloodsucking progeny across the centuries and maps his disquieting legacy. Texts discussed range from the Romantic period, including the fascinating and little-known The Black Vampyre (1819), through the melodramatic vampire theatricals in the 1820s, to contemporary vampire film, paranormal romance, and science fiction. The essays emphasise the background of colonial revolution and racial oppression in the early nineteenth century and the cultural shifts of postmodernity.


    Foreword: Polidori revisited - Christopher Frayling
    Part I: The birth of The Vampyre
    1 Introduction - Sam George and Bill Hughes
    2 Phantasmagoria: Polidori's The Vampyre from theatricals to vampire slaying kits - Sam George
    3 A séance in Bristol Gardens: Reassessing The Vampyre - Fabio Camilletti
    4 Byromania: Polidori, fandom and the Romantic vampire's celebrity origins - Harriet Fletcher
    5 Rebellion, treachery, and glamour: Lady Caroline Lamb's Glenarvon, Polidori and the progress of the Romantic vampire - Bill Hughes
    6 Sexual contagions: Romantic vampirism and tuberculosis; or, 'I should like to die of a consumption' - Marcus Sedgwick
    7 The Vampyre, Aubrey, and Frankenstein - Nick Groom
    Part II: The legacy of The Vampyre
    8 From lord to slave: Revolt and parasitism in Uriah Derick D'Arcy's The Black Vampyre - Sam George and Bill Hughes
    9 'But if thine eye be evil': Tropes of vision in the rise of the modern vampire - Ivan Phillips
    10 'Knowledge is a fatal thing', or from fatal whispers to vampire songs: Breaking Polidori's oath in The Vampire Chronicles and Byzantium - Sorcha Ní Fhlainn
    11 'The deadly hue of his face': The genesis of the vampiric gentleman and his deadly beauty; Or, how Lord Ruthven became Edward Cullen - Kaja Franck
    12 Vampensteins from Villa Diodati: The assimilation of pseudo-science in twenty-first century vampire fiction - Jillian Wingfield
    Afterword: St Pancras Old Church and the mystery of Polidori's grave - Sam George
    Appendix 1: John William Polidori, The Vampyre
    Appendix 2: George, Lord Byron, 'A Fragment'


    Sam George is Associate Professor of Research at the University of Hertfordshire and Co-convenor of the Open Graves, Open Minds Project
    Bill Hughes is Co-convenor of the Open Graves, Open Minds Project

    The legacy of John Polidori

    Edited by Sam George, Bill Hughes

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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