F Gilbert, Front cover for 'The Vampyre a tale by Lord Byron'; 1884

British Library, London

John Polidori’s tale of the vampire, which developed from the ‘ghost-story challenge’ of June 1816, was credited to Lord George Byron by the publisher Henry Colburn, in a successful attempt to sell a large number of copies. Byron disclaimed it, and Polidori, the actual author, was able to get a small payment for the work.


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