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.
In this edition of The Vampyre
we see Byron still credited as the author 75 years later.
The story deals with aristocratic seduction and murder, the connection between a depraved young aristocrat and vampirism, the moral collapse both of the woman being seduced and her brother, and the inability of her family to protect her. It is widely accepted that Byron was the model for the vampire character, Lord Ruthven.