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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $10.95

320 pp.
129 mm x 196 mm


Publication date:
December 2008

Imprint: OUP UK

The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre

John Polidori
Edited with an introduction and notes by Robert Morrison and Edited by Chris Baldick

Series : Oxford World's Classics

`Upon her neck and breast was blood, and upon her throat were the marks of teeth having opened the vein: - to this the men pointed, crying, simultaneously struck with horror, "a Vampyre, a Vampyre!"'

John Polidori's classic tale of the vampyre was a product of the same ghost-story competition that produced Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Set in Italy, Greece, and London, Polidori's tales is a reaction to the dominating presence of his employer Lord Byron, and transformed the figure of the vampire from the bestial ghoul of earlier mythologies into the glamorous aristocrat whose violence and sexual allure make him literally a 'lady-killer'. Polidori's tale introduced the vampire into English fiction, and launched a vampire craze that has never subsided.

`The Vampyre' was first published in 1819 in the London New Monthly Magazine. The present volume selects thirteen other tales of the macabre first published in the leading London and Dublin magazines between 1819 and 1838, including Edward Bulwer's chilling account of the doppelganger, Letitia Landon's elegant reworking of the Gothic romance, William Carleton's terrifying description of an actual lynching, and James Hogg's ghoulish exploitation of the cholera epidemic of 1831-2.

Readership : Students of nineteenth-century and Gothic fiction and the general reader.


  • `Moving effortlessly from folklore to melodrama, the Introduction assesses the position that Polidori's story . . . We may not be ableto recover the experience of the origianl readers, but we can be grateful to the editors for bringing back to life tales that are not only of academic interest but which still exert their own nightmarish fascination'
    Studies in Hogg and his World

Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
Chronology of the Magazines
John Polidori: The Vampyre
Horace Smith: Sir Guy Eveling's Dream
William Carleton: Confessions of a Reformed Ribbonman
Edward Bulwer
Allan Cunningham: The Master of Logan
Anonymous: The Victim
James Hogg: Some Terrible Letters from Scotland
Anonymous: The Curse
Anonymous: Life in Death
N. P.Willis: My Hobby - Rather
Catherine Gore: The Red Man
Charles Lever: Post-Mortem Recollections of a Medical Lecturer
Letitia E. Landon: The Bride of Lindorf
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess
Appendix A: Preliminaries for `The Vampyre'
Appendix B: John Polidori, Note on the Vampyre
Appendix C: Lord Byron: `Augustus Darvell'
Biographical Notes, Explanatory Notes

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Chris Baldick is Head of English at Goldsmith's College, University of London. Robert Morrison is Associate Professor of English at Acadia University, Canada.

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Special Features

  • * A unique selection of Gothic tales