Polidori’s Vampyre: Deception, Delusion, Delirium


7:30 PM - 9:00 PM



  • Time: 19:30-21:00 CN, 12:30-14:00 UK
  • Date: 24 May 2022
  • Venue: Zhumu, please contact Thomas.Duggett@xjtlu.edu.cn for Zhumu details


Dr John Polidori’s short story ‘The Vampyre’ is popularly considered the inaugural vampire story in English, and it has had a global impact. The genesis of this tale is, however, surprisingly complicated and has never before been adequately explained or accounted for. In addition, the story itself is a much more complicated text than has hitherto been recognized: it is not only profoundly influenced by the works written alongside it, but also, in its twists and turns, tells a very different tale than many readers believe or accept at face value. This paper combines archival research in unpublished papers with close reading of the text and context to demonstrate how a research project can progress, how internal and external evidence can build to make a convincing case, and how nearly everything we thought we knew about a canonical work can be wrong....

Download and read ‘The Vampyre’ here: https://box.xjtlu.edu.cn/f/5623dcbacb784f0d9e38/?d...


Nick Groom is Professor of Literature in English at the University of Macau, having previously held positions at the Universities of Bristol, Chicago, Stanford, and Exeter – at the last of which he holds an Honorary Professorship. He has published research in a number of fields, from 18th-century ballads to literary forgery, and from the canonisation of Shakespeare to the history of vampires, as well as several articles and essays on the poet Thomas Chatterton. He is primarily known for his work on cultural environmentalism and on the Gothic: his environmental writing includes the book ‘The Seasons: A Celebration of the English Year’ (Atlantic, 2013), runner-up for a BBC Book Award. His extensive work on the Gothic has helped to redefine the field. Key work here includes his book ‘The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012); editions of ‘The Castle of Otranto’, ‘The Monk’, ‘The Italian’, and ‘Frankenstein’ (all Oxford University Press, 2014-19); and ‘The Vampire: A New History’ (Yale University Press, 2020). He is currently finishing a book on JRR Tolkien and his cultural significance for Atlantic Books, and a new edition of early vampire tales for Oxford University Press.

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