Edmund Gordon

In Byron’s Shadow

Imposture

By

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In the summer of 1816, when Byron and the Shelleys, stranded by heavy rain beside Lake Geneva, decided to amuse themselves by composing ghost stories (a diversion that led to Mary Shelley’s writing Frankenstein), they were accompanied by Byron’s physician, John Polidori, who joined the competition and began a supernatural tale of his own. The Vampyre was published anonymously in 1819, and, such was the familiarity of its style, its author was widely assumed to be Byron himself. 

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