Varla Ventura, fan favorite on Huffington Post’s Weird News, frequent guest on Coast to Coast, and bestselling author of The Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre, introduces a new Weiser Books Collection of forgotten crypto-classics. Magical Creatures is a hair-raising herd of affordable digital editions, curated with Varla’s affectionate and unerring eye for the fantastic.
The story of the conception of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is a tale well known to horror devotees. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) were reading ghost stories aloud to one another one stormy night at Byron's lake house in Geneva, Switzerland. Byron prompted his partygoers to write a ghostly tale of their own. Out of this came the beginnings of one of the most famous horror novels of all time, Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus. As it happened, John William Polidori was also there that fated night. Personal physician to Lord Byron and a writer as a past time, Polidori crafted The Vampyre, A Tale from a sketch of a story that Byron composed that same evening. Often wrongly advertised as a story by Byron himself, The Vampyre has remained a relatively obscure tale of terror. The first vampire story published in English, Polidori's work predates the seminal Bram Stoker's Dracula by more than seventy years.
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About the Author
John William Polidori (1795-1821) was a writer and medical doctor, most noted for being the personal physician to Lord Byron. He wrote the first vampire novel ever published in English, 70 years before Dracula. His sister married exiled Italian scholar Gabriele Rossetti, making John an uncle to Maria Francesca Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti and Christina Rossetti.
Varla Ventura is the author of Fairies, Pookas and Changelings; Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night; Among the Mermaids; The Book of the Bizarre; and Beyond Bizarre. She can often be found lurking about the deep dark woods and lakes of Minnesota on the hunt for mushrooms, magical herbs, and the elusive little men of legend. Visit her at www.varlaventura.net.