The Vampyre by Tom Holland – Review

The VampyreThe Vampyre by Tom Holland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The figure of the brooding, Byronic hero and that of the vampire found their places in English literature at around the same time, both as part of the Romantic movement of the late 18th-early 19th centuries. One of the first vampire stories written in English was in fact composed by Dr. Polidori, the physician of Lord Byron himself.

In this novel, the two figures are blended, as Lord Byron, poet, lover, scandal-driven exile and freedom fighter is further cursed with an immortality, stained with vampiric thirst.

The novel is suffused with the dark, rich elements of the gothic literature of the period – brooding castles, tormented, driven hero, exotic travel,tragic heroines, twisted lusts and, of course, lots of gore.

A particularly piquant cruelty is leant to Byron’s situation in that he is not only the sensitive, anguished type of vampire of more recent decades, there is also that in his nature harking back to the more brutish, deadly revenant of folklore.

An entertaining, intelligent take on both the vampire and the Byron mythos.

View all my reviews


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