Queen's University

History of Frankenstein and vampires: Queen's University expert

2012-11-02

Queen’s University English professor Robert Morrison is available to talk about the origins of Frankenstein and vampires for reporters looking to write a Halloween story.

Dr. Morrison notes it is a little known fact that these two monster legends were created on the same June weekend in 1816 by a group of writers who decided to pass the time by having a ghost-story writing contest. Mary Shelley was only 19-years-old when she wrote Frankenstein and John Polidori was 21 when he wrote The Vampyre.

“It is a remarkable thought that the same ghost-story contest produced our two most potent modern myths, both of which have gripped the popular imagination for nearly two centuries. Bram Stoker’s Dracula came out in 1897 and it has almost entirely eclipsed John Polidori’s seminal tale. But it was Polidori who first introduced Western audiences to the modern vampire. His tale touched off a vampire craze and tradition that has still not subsided,” says Dr. Morrison, who can talk about how these two famous monsters have evolved in literature over the past 200 years.

Dr. Morrison is the editor of The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre (Oxford World’s Classics).

Click here to read Dr. Morrison’s Oxford University Press blog about the Frankenstein and The Vampyre’s literary origins.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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