Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Review: The Diary of Dr. John Polidori 1816, 2015 reprinted from 1911 edited by William Michael Rossetti

Long before Horror literature was rendered practically impotent because it was bastardized by illiterate wannabees, plot thieves and over sexed sexless hacks, there was a time when classic literature was crafted without fear and with abandon. There was a time even when the most melodramatic piece of trash showed worth because an actual story rather than a rant existed.

In other words, talent actually lived and walked and breathed and wrote.

The year is 1816 and Dr. John Polidori, budding writer and personal physician to the immortal poet Lord Byron spent a long weekend with Byron and a married couple, Percy B. and Mary Shelley. Out of this weekend and a quadruple dare was born and the Romantic Movement fired a shot heard for ages to come.

Amidst the incessant rain the group discussion led to supernatural tales with Polidori penning THE VAMPYRE, A TALE; the first vampire novel published in English and Mary Shelley creating the immortal and extremely influencing FRANKENSTEIN.

What is contained in these pages is the back story, a memoir of the moment a point in time when literature rose above the mass market. Edited by William Michael Rossetti, the maternal nephew to Polidori and the brother to Dante, this volume is copious and fascinating.

Originally published in 1911 this tome is not dated with page after page capturing the same lightning in a bottle that gave Mary Shelley's creation life.

For any writer this is an important glimpse into a moment of creativity. For any writer this is a chance to be a witness to history itself.

Buy the book.

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