The Vampyre was the first story written about vampires. It is often considered the start of the vampire/ supernatural genre of literature. It influenced many stories to come including Dracula by Bram Stoker. The story is about a young man named Aubrey who meets a man in London named Lord Ruthven. Lord Ruthven is a vampire but Aubrey is not aware of this until much later on. Lord Ruthven is portrayed as mysterious and has a way of grasping the attention of those around him. He uses his charm to draw in people, especially women. Too many times women were drawn in by his appeal and fell victim to him. He was a pale man with a heavy stare; but for some reason his stare held a lot of power. Not only did women fall under his “spell”, men did as well. Lord Ruthven was able finesse his way into the high social class of London. He travels with Aubrey to Greece. In Greece, Aubrey meets a young women named Ianthe. Ianthe tells Aubrey about the myth of a vampire, something Aubrey had never heard before. Shortly after Ruthven’s arrival Ianthe is killed. Aubrey does not suspect Ruthven and they continue traveling together. Ruthven and Aubrey are attacked by bandits and Ruthven is “killed”. Aubrey begins to piece together the disastrous trail Ruthven leaves behind him. A while later Ruthven resurfaces. He threatens Aubrey demanding his secret be kept. Aubrey disobeys and writes his sister, who is engaged to Ruthven, a letter warning her. Ruthven’s supernatural abilities leads him to intercept this letter and eventually kills both Aubrey and his sister.
His odd mannerisms would be considered abnormal in today’s times. People today would not be drawn into his mysterious mannerisms the same way the people in the story did.
citation: William, Polidori John. The Vampyre. 1819. Print.