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    Polidori's Classic Novel, Conceived the Same Night as Shelley's Frankenstein

    [John William Polidori]. The Vampyre; A Tale. London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1819. First edition, second issue (Viets III), with the original text of the "Extract of a Letter from Geneva" set in twenty-four lines. The first word of the last line on page 36 corrected to "almost." Octavo. xxv, [xxvi, blank], [27]-84 pages. Modern three-quarter black morocco over marbled boards, with decorative gilt spine stamping inside four raised bands. All edges untrimmed. Marbled endpapers. Original front wrapper bound in. Minimal wear to the binding. Minor dust-soiling and toning to the text. Two small marginal chips to E7, E8, and the last page of text. Ink stains to E4. A handsome copy in very good condition.

    The Vampyre was conceived during the same competitive story-telling evening as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and was written by Byron's doctor, John William Polidori (1795-1821). Originally published under Byron's name, Polidori sought an injunction against the printer and Byron disowned it altogether. Although the book was successful, Polidori made little from it; he committed suicide two years later.

    Henry R. Viets, "The London Editions of Polidori's 'The Vampyre'", Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume 63, 1969.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2012
    8th Wednesday
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