The Legacy of John Polidori: The Romantic vampire and its progeny

Sam George (Editor), Bill Hughes (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


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. They emphasise the background of colonial revolution and racial oppression in the early nineteenth century and the cultural shifts of postmodernity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages352
ISBN (Print)9781526166388
Publication statusSubmitted - 20 Oct 2023


  • Polidori
  • vampire
  • Romanticism


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