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“The Vampyre” was one of the earliest writings on Vampires, written in 1819.  This story shapes the way many people view vampires today.  The story follows a young handsome man named Aubrey and his adventures with his new travel companion, Lord Ruthven.  Lord Ruthven is a vampire but Aubrey is unaware of that, even after he is warned of the legend of the Vampire by townspeople and his lover dies soon after.  For those unfamiliar, this video is an excellent summary of “The Vampyre” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpVYR-IgNY

Many people think of Vampires as complete outsiders.  But that is the opposite with Lord Ruthven, “His peculiarities caused him to be invited to every house; all wished to see him, and those who had been accustomed to violent excitement, and now felt the weight of ennui, were pleased at having something in their presence capable of engaging their attention. In spite of the deadly hue of his face, which never gained a warmer tint, either from the blush of modesty, or from the strong emotion of passion, though its form and outline were beautiful, many of the female hunters after notoriety attempted to win his attentions, and gain, at least, some marks of what they might term affection”(Polidori, The Vampyre).  Lord Ruthven was neither an outcast nor an outsider.  Instead he seemed to be in the middle of many things and was even someone women were attracted to.  https://publicdomainreview.org/2014/10/16/the-poet-the-physician-and-the-birth-of-the-modern-vampire/  This article gives insight to why Polidori chose Lord Ruthven to be the fascinating character who was socially active.  The article says, “He is a pale and fascinating nobleman”(The Poet…) and also hits on the background of context of the time Polidori wrote “The Vampyre”.  Lord Ruthven was a vampire unlike any other.

Many people did not think of Vampires as handsome until after twilight emerged, but this book cover, https://www.amazon.com/Vampyre-Magical-Creatures-Weiser-Collection-ebook/dp/B005SG3YJU, shows that Vampires were handsome long before twilight.  While this is only an artists interpretation of what Lord Ruthven looked like it is fairly accurate to what the book depicts.

Lord Ruthven is an interesting Vampire because of how he is so involved in every day life and even travels with Aubrey.  He is not an outsider but is active in many things that were going on.  We also do not consider Vampires to have friends and often think of them more as loners, but “The Vampyre” shows that Vampires were good companions, especially for Aubrey while traveling.  Vampires do not have to be loners.


https://skullsinthestars.com/2008/10/05/draculas-forefathers-lord-ruthven-varney-and-carmilla/  This article is fascinating in looking at not only Lord Ruthven, but the vampires that paved the way for Dracula to be the infamous vampire that he is.  Dracula was shaped by various different vampires and Lord Ruthven was absolutely a large influence.

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