The Vampyre: a Tale [Second Issue, Uncut]
POLIDORI, John William (1795-1821)
Price: 6,850.00 USD
London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1819. Second Issue (introductory pages set in 24 lines, the false claim that Byron had "in his house two sisters [Mary Godwin and Jane Clermont] as the partakers of his revels," and reference to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, all omitted from the reset third issue (which has the Introduction in 23 lines). One of the earliest issues obtainable. 8vo ( cm): xxv,,28-84pp, with both "Extract of a Letter from Geneva" and "Extract of a Letter, Containing an Account of Lord Byron's Residence In the Island of Mitylene" and two sets of ads at rear dated November 24, 1818 and March 1, 1818. Beautifully presented in modern half red morocco over red and gilt-patterned boards, spine in six compartments divided by ruled bands and lettered in black, all edges uncut. Title and half-title reset, omitting Byron's name. Printed on wove paper, watermarked "1818 / G." Repaired marginal tear to half title and occasional pale marginal stain, but a very handsome, uncut example of the scarce second state. Viets III. Wolff 5577. Wise, p. 96. Summers, p 542. First published in Henry Colburn's New Monthly Magazine, as well as in book form (only two copies of which are recorded). Early in 1816 (the story is told in Extract of a Letter from Geneva) John Polidori became physician to Lord Byron, and the two departed on a tour of the Continent. On arrival at Geneva, Byron rented the Villa Diodati, where he was visited by Percy and Mary Shelley and Mary's half-sister, Claire Clairmont, who took up residence nearby. Kept indoors by the "incessant rain" of that "wet, ungenial summer," over three days in June the five turned to telling fantastical tales and then writing their own. Mary Shelley produced Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, and Polidori was inspired by Byron's Fragment of a Novel to write The Vampyre, which on first publication was credited to Byron. "The Vampyre went through five editions in 1819 alone and achieved spectacular success in Europe, where . . . Goethe described The Vampyre as Byron's masterpiece. Although by no means the first appearance of the vampire in European literature, Polidori's tale established the prototype later developed in Sheridan Lefanu's 'Carmilla' and Bram Stoker's Dracula." (ODNB). N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.). First Edition. Fine.