- Series: Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834
- Hardcover: 84 pages
- Publisher: Woodstock Books (October 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1854772554
- ISBN-13: 978-1854772558
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,139,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Vampyre: 1819 (Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834) Hardcover – October, 2001
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The foundation runs along the same lines as Dracula, with the lurid and ominously surreptitious vampire, whom reveals his true self to only one person; which in turn drives this person into madness.
The conclusion left me with the chills. I enjoyed it very much!
I expected a book, for the price, but instead received a pamphlet.
Not only was it embarassingly small, but 1/2 of it was redundant explanations of the history and origins of the story.
I wont make the same mistake again.
While in Greece he is informed of vampires. Not really believing in them he realizes that their description matches Lord Ruthven.
He is in for a shocker however I will not go through the whole story as you will be fascinated to read it as it unfolded.
I came to this book through the back door. After watching a movie "The Vampire's Ghost" (1945) I found the main character Webb Fallon loosely based on Lord Ruthven. So I had to read the book
A very naive, romantic young man named Aubrey becomes acquainted with a mysterious aristocrat named Lord Ruthven, and decides to go on a tour of Europe with him. But he soon discovers that Ruthven isn't the idealized romantic figure he thought -- he's cruel, depraved and has a corrupting influence on everyone he gets involved with.
Aubrey soon abandons Ruthven and flees to Greece, where he falls in love with a beautiful peasant girl -- only to have her die from a vampiric attack, followed by Ruthven being killed by bandits. Even more shocking, Ruthven reappears in London -- alive and well -- when Aubrey returns, and he has some spectacularly sinister plans in mind for Aubrey's sister.
The main character may be a vampire, but Polidori's story is less of a horror story and more of a study of innocence's destruction. Not only does Ruthven apparently wreck the morals of everyone he becomes close to (although we're never told how), but even the pure-hearted Aubrey turns into a glassy-eyed crazy wreck because of Ruthven.
Writingwise, I hope Polidori was a better doctor than he was a writer. His writing isn't BAD, but he tends to ramble in a purple, prim, distant style -- it feels like the entire story is a summary of someone else's novel, and he skims over the most interesting stuff like Ruthven's actual cruelty or his wooing of Aubrey's sister. But he does give the story an atmosphere of taut suspense especially when Aubrey is trying to escape Ruthven.
Ruthven (based on Byron) is a fairly fascinating character since he was the first aristocratic, elegant, attractive vampire that anybody knows of -- he's not just a monster, but a smart one who manipulates others to get the prize. We don't know whether he corrupts and murders because he's a vampire or whether he's just an evil manipulator, but strangely it makes him all the more fascinating.
"The Vampyre" has the distinction of being the first story involving an aristocratic, attractive vampire, and Lord Ruthven is a fascinating villain despite Polidori's clunky writing. Worth a read, if nothing else for the insights.