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Gothic Literature in Special Collections

An overview of Gothic Literature held in Special Collections at Hornbake Library

Brief Biography

John William Polidori  (September 7, 1795 – August 24,1821) was an English writer and  physician. He is credited by many with creating the figure of the vampire with his novel The Vampyre (1819). Although the story was at first erroneously credited to Lord Byron, both Byron and Polidori, who was Byron's physician for a time, affirmed that the author was Polidori. In June of 1816 John Polidori, Mary and Percy Shelley, and Claire Clairmont visited Lord Byron in Geneva. To amuse themselves, Byron suggested that each member of the party should write a ghost story. Polidori wrote The Vampyre and Mary Shelley wrote FrankensteinThe Vampyre is considered the first novel of the romantic vampire genre in fiction.