The Vampyre
The Vampyre The Vampyre
London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones. 1819.

First edition, third issue. 8vo, 204x132mm. pp, iii-xxv [] (lacking half-title), [27]-84. Recently rebound in tan half calf, marbled paper covered boards, flat spine ruled in gilt and with red morocco label lettered in gilt. Slight marking to title page and a little spotting and foxing elsewhere but overall a very nice copy of this celebrated begetter of an entire genre.
All the conventions of vampire fiction - beautiful young women, callow young men and parasitic, blood-sucking aristocrats - owe their existence to this book. The origins of the The Vampyre are well known as is its initial attribution to Byron, whose doctor Polidori was. While Polidori was gracious enough to acknowledge Byron's inspiration he was keen that the public recognise that "the development [of the tale] is mine". Later printings include Polidori's name on the title page but early ones such as this third issue, set in twenty three lines and with "lmost" in the last line of p.36, are silent on the matter of authorship thus adding to the atmosphere of vampiric mystery.