The Vampyre Family

The Vampyre Family : Passion, Envy and The Curse of Byron

3.69 (49 ratings by Goodreads)

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In the spring of 1816, Lord Byron was the greatest poet of his generation and the most famous man in Britain, but his personal life was about to erupt. Fleeing his celebrity, notoriety and debts, he sought refuge in Europe, taking his young doctor with him. As an inexperienced medic with literary aspirations of his own, Dr Polidori could not believe his luck.

That summer another literary star also arrived in Geneva. With Percy Bysshe Shelley came his lover, Mary and her step-sister Claire Clairmont. For the next three months, this party of young bohemians shared their lives, charged with sexual and artistic tensions. It was a period of extraordinary creativity from which would emerge Frankenstein, the gothic masterpiece of Romantic fiction, Byron's Childe Harold, Shelley's Mont Blanc, and The Vampyre by John Polidori, the first great vampire novel.

It was also a time of remarkable drama and emotional turmoil. For Byron and the Shelleys, their stay by the lake would serve to immortalise them in the annals of literary history. But for Claire and Polidori, the Swiss sojourn would scar them forever.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 161 x 240 x 38mm | 748g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • two 8 page colour insets
  • 1847678718
  • 9781847678713
  • 1,059,459

Review quote

The Vampyre Family is a thrilling tale about the pursuit of love, sex and fame. Andrew McConnell Stott provides a dual portrait of the Romantic spirit during its most intense period of creativity, and uncovers the emotional devastation that was left in its wake -- AMANDA FOREMAN, the bestselling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire Praise for THE PANTOMIME LIFE OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI:

'Brilliant . . . As a portrait of London life in all its mutinous and anarchic variety this book would be hard to beat * * Spectator * * A fast-paced rumbustious biography . . . Stott evokes both the dizzying excitement and the harshness of theatrical life -- Jenny Uglow * * Observer * * [A] great big Christmas pudding of a book, almost over-stuffed with rich and colourful life * * Guardian 'Book of the Week' * * Stott's dynamic dramatization grabs our attention, and we, too, as outsiders [like Claire and Polidori], are cannily lured into the poetic celebrity's inner circle * * Times Literary Supplement * *
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About Andrew McConnell Stott

Andrew McConnell Stott is Professor of English at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi, a history of theatre and comedy told through the story of Britain's greatest pantomime clown, was published by Canongate in 2009 and won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction, the Sheridan Morley Award for Theatre Biography, and the George Freedley Memorial Award. It was a BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' and was named by the Guardian as one of its 'Books of the Year.'

Follow @amstott1789 on Twitter
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Rating details

49 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 16% (8)
4 49% (24)
3 24% (12)
2 8% (4)
1 2% (1)
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