John William Polidori (1795-1821) was an Italian English physician and writer, known for his associations with the Romantic movement and credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction. Polidori was one of the earliest pupils at recently established Ampleforth College from 1804, and in 1810 went up to the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote a thesis on sleepwalking and received his degree as a doctor of medicine in 1815 at the age of 19. In 1816 Dr. Polidori entered Lord Byron's service as his personal physician, and accompanied Byron on a trip through Europe. Polidori used a fragment of a story written and quickly abandoned by Byron as the basis for his own tale, The Vampyre, the first vampire story published in English. It was published in 1819 issue of New Monthly Magazine without his permission. Much to both his and Byron's chagrin, The Vampyre was released as a new work by Byron. Byron even released his own Fragment of a Novel in an attempt to clear up the mess, but, for better or worse, The Vampyre continued to be attributed to him. His long, Byron-influenced theological poem The Fall of the Angels, was published anonymously in 1821.
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- Classic Literature
- English Horror tales
- Gothic fiction (Literary genre)
- Horror tales
- Short stories
- Vampires -- Fiction
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