7 September 1795 - 24 August 1821
English writer and doctor (born to an Italian refugee father and an English); uncle of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Rossetti. Polidori, who earned his medical degree at the age of nineteen, served briefly as Byron's personal physician during the latter's travels in Europe after his "exile" from England. Polidori was present at the famous ghost-story sessions with Byron and the Shelleys at the Villa Diodati; the story he began there eventually became his novel Ernestus Bechtold, but first Polidori cribbed Byron's aborted plot and wrote The Vampyre, the first vampire fiction in English.
This novel was first published in the New Monthly Magazine in April 1819. The work was attributed to Byron at first; Polidori later claimed authorship and published a slightly revised version of the novel later. He also contacted one publisher in regards to a sequel, but that plan came to naught.
- at GoogleBooks
This is an efacsimile of one of the first book publications of Polidori's novel; there were six editions of the work, by various publishers, within the first year.
- at Lit of the Fantastic
- at ibilio.org
This volume — another of those treasures edited by E. F. Bleiler and published by Dover — has works in it besides Polidori's The Vampyre (including the fragmentary of a novel by Byron that is Polidori's main source), but that makes it all the more valuable; everyone interested in Gothic literature should own this book:
Essays & Reviews: