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The Vampyre a Tale was the first vampire story written in English. John William Polidori (7 September 1795 - 24 August 1821) was an Italian physician and writer. After receiving his medical degree at age 19 he became the personnel physician to Lord Byron. He was one of the first authors to write about vampires. One evening a group of writers read a book of ghost stories aloud and they decided to try their hand at writing one. Mary Shelley began what would become Frankenstein. Byron began a story and abandoned it. Polidori used it as the basis for his own tale, "The Vampyre".