Lord Byron, a Romantic poet, decided to delve into the world of ghost stories. He wrote a short, unfinished piece called, A Fragment, "...which was eventually published at the end of Mazeppa. " Later on, a man named John Polidori was influenced by this incomplete work to create, The Vampyre. "-- it was an extremely successful marketing ploy and the tale, with its lurid Byronic hero, had the most resounding success."
The young narrator recounts of a tale in which he embarked on an uncommon expedition with an elderly man that he called Augustus Darvell. The narrator said, "Some peculiar circumstance in his private history had rendered him to me an object of attention..." They have shared similar experiences, even though Darvell has gone through them already, while the narrator is still enduring these events. As they are traveling towards the East, the narrator noticed how his timeworn friend has slowly become weaker and weaker. There were no obvious signs, but the narrator could just sense his downfall.
Once they arrived to the decrepit ruins of Diana between Smyrna and Ephesus, the elderly companion was near the point of death. During his final moments, Darvell told the narrator that he must not tell anyone of his death. He handed the narrator a ring he was wearing and told him to throw it into the salt springs that go to the Bay of Eleusis on the ninth day of the month at noon. After this order, a stork landed on a tombstone near them, with a snake in her beak.
The old man perished and was buried where the bird was perched. However, the narrator had no feelings towards this man, and did not shed a single tear.
Connection with Vampires Edit
After reading this piece of literature, Polidori created an ending where the narrator returned home and saw his dead companion roaming in the town. Byron did not make any implications that his ghost story was supposed to be about vampires. However, due to Polidori's strong belief, he said that Darvell returned as a vampire "and Byron himself is supposed to have referred to his fragment as 'My real 'Vampire'.'