The Waking Dream
During the summer of 1816, Lord Byron invited the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife-to-be Mary Godwin to spend some months at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland. These poetic rebels were attempting to escape society's disapproval of their radical lifestyles at home in England and to engage in a creative collaboration.
Amongst the group was young Dr. John Polidori, Byron’s personal physician. As the creative and sexual tensions within the group simmered over a “wet, ungenial summer,” Mary Shelley had the famous nightmarish vision that inspired her novel, Frankenstein.
It is well documented that Polidori was also moved to write The Vampyre. However, in this Gothic story, it his seductive night terrors that spur his creativity. Is this mere fiction, or are his vampiric visions a dark and fated fact?