In 1819 a story called The Vampyre was published, in which the creature who traditionally looked like a hobbit and lived down a mole hole was refashioned as a melancholy aristocrat in riding boots and frock coat. The authorship was attributed to Lord Byron but The Vampyre was in fact the product of Byron’s physician, a troubled and troublesome scamp called John Polidori.
A fascinating exploration of one of the most significant moments in gothic history – the night when Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and their cohorts gathered together in Lake Geneva to tell ghost stories.
Posthumous Poems. Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822.
Octavo printed on ribbed paper for publishers John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824. Printed by C. H. Reynell, Broad Street, Golden Square, x. 415 p.. Preface by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. 1797-1851.
Green modern library binding with white title label to spine and black titles. Red speckled edges. Inscription to first free endpaper. "Fran Phipps. June 26th 1838". Curiously this copy has 2 errata leaves bound in at the rear, on the verso of each is a list of Shelley’s previous works. Contents leaves misbound, xi preceding ix, x. Small remains of a library sticker to front paste-down. Some foxing, mainly to endpapers. (FORMAN, 108) (WISE, 70) (OCOLC, 868008868)
Scholars have long puzzled over the errata leaf in Shelley’s Posthumous Poems.
(The Errata Leaf to Shelley’s Posthumous Poems and Some Surprising Relationships between the Earliest Collected Editions
Charles H. Taylor, Jr. PMLA Vol. 70, No. 3 (Jun., 1955), pp. 408-416 Published by: Modern Language Association
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/460046)
Booksellers, generally, are of the opinion that a copy without the errata leaf must proceed one with although little is know about when it was added.
This copy has 2 errata leaves. Bound in a modern library binding, the contents leaves are also mis-bound with xi preceding ix, x.
The only provenance is a signature to first free endpaper. “Fran Phipps. June 26th 1838”.
The small remains of a library sticker to the front paste-down and the library binding point to a history at some time in an institution but alas without more information that is where the trail ends.
I am interested to consider opinions on from anyone who might be able to spread some light on this biblio-mystery.
One of the most famous literary gatherings ever—when Byron, Shelley, Mary Shelley told ghost stories on the bank of Lake Geneva—is vividly brought to life in a new book about the man who invented the modern vampire and was spurned by Byron.
We will each write a ghost story, said Lord Byron, and his proposition was acceded to.” So wrote Mary Shelley in the preface to her first novel, Frankenstein, published in 1831, 15 years after one of the most mythologised events in literary history. That was the famous night at the Villa Diodati, near Lake Geneva, in 1816, when Byron, Mary Godwin, Percy Shelley and John Polidori, Byron’s doctor, gathered by the fire to make up ghost stories. Two of the horror genre’s most enduring monsters were born: the vampire and Victor Frankenstein’s unnamed creation. But Mary also wrote herself into fiction by mythologising further a group of writers who have been the subject of both biography and fiction, ever since.