Synopsis: The Vampyre is a tale that starts in the London party scene. Two newcomers, Lord Ruthven and Aubrey, become acquainted and despite the differences between one another, they decide to tour Rome together. During this time, Aubrey notices a few oddities of Lord Ruthven and questions Lord Ruthven’s moral characteristics. Ultimately, Aubrey decides to distance himself from Lord Ruthven and travels in solitude. However, escaping Lord Ruthven altogether doesn’t come all that easy and Aubrey finds his life has mixed with Lord Ruthven in the strangest of ways.
Rating: (3/5) ★★★
The origin of The Vampyre is an interesting story in itself. I first learned of The Vampyre in the film Mary Shelley. During a rainy night in the early 1800s a few authors and poets decided to write ghost stories to past the time. One of the authors being Mary Shelley, went on to write Frankenstein and John William Polidori wrote the short work of fiction, The Vampyre. After reading Frankenstein, I decided to venture into the second work of literary fiction that originated from the same “writing competition” as Frankenstein. I was surprised to find out The Vampyre is considered to be one of the first stories that portrays vampires as how we recognize them to be today and went on to inspire Dracula by Bram Stoker.
It was interesting to read one of the first vampire stories that inspired the Romance Vampire Genre. However, with it being a short story of only about eighty-something pages, the plot and characters developed quickly and at times was quite predictable and flat. Originally, the story was accidentally published under Lord Byron’s name who was already a known author. I can’t help but wonder if The Vampyre would have been as successful if originally published by the actual author. During the time period of the original publication the story may have had a positive response from readers since the vampire genre was yet to be introduced.
If you are looking for a well-developed, dimensional vampire story this one is not for you. I would recommend this short read to those perhaps researching the history of vampires and the fictional development throughout the years.