ghost stories & vampyres.
Posted by P. Bingham on April 02, 1998 at 21:15:29:
In response to Byron & The Vampyre, written by Carolyn on April 01, 1998 at 17:35:46
here is what I have in my Byron biography by Phyllis Grosskurth:
"On evenings when it was too stormy to venture on the lake, the group (Byron, the Shellys & Polidori?) would gather in the drawing room at Diodati where, at Byron's suggestion, they each in turn tried to come up with ghost stories. One June 17th Byron related an unusual and rather clumsy account of betrayal: two friends, upon embarking together for Greece, made a curious pact. If one died, the other would not reveal his death to anyone. One apparently dies; bu the other traveller, upon returning to England, finds his companion very much alive and making love to his sister. Byron jotted down his outline in a few pages but soon abandoned the story, aware that fiction was not his forte, but Polidori was later to make use of the material for The Vampyre.
Mary, however, became entranced with the idea of a man-made monster, an idea that haunted her night and day, and was eventually to result in her 1818 masterpiece Frankenstein. The subject became too agitating for the sensitive Shelley. One night Byron repeated the lines of Coleridge's Chritabel (a poem Byron had persuaded Murray to publish), describing the witch's breast: "hideous, deformed, and pale of hue". Byron had an enormous dramatic gift, and this time his chilling tones were more than effective. Shelley ran from the room, reviving only after they had thrown cold water on him. He described how he had imagined a woman whose breasts had eyes instead of nipples."
- From Shelley's biography... Patricia Bingham 14:17:09 4/07/98 (0)
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