John Polidori (1795-1821) is a fascinating but always shadowy figure of Romanticism, an impetuous, sensitive writer of fierce talent. His encounter with Byron, Shelley and their circle has contributed both to his fame and notoriety on the one hand, and to his neglect on the other: he is too often known only at second-hand through the recollections of his famous friends. That encounter with Byron, Shelley et al was the inspiration for his most celebrated work, the influential and still compelling tale of The Vampyre (1819). With this story, Polidori created a figure of seductive evil who continues to exert a powerful hold over literature and popular culture. The Vampyre alone would confirm Polidori's importance within the Gothic tradition. This collection also makes available many of the Polidori's lesser-known works, showing him to be a resourceful, sensitive writer whose literary career was cut short by his early death. Polidori's medical thesis on the subject of nightmares, his essay 'Upon the Source of Positive Pleasure' and his Gothic novel The Modern Oedipus (both included in full), his poetry, diaries and letters, illuminate the context in which The Vampyre was written and deepen our understanding of Romanticism and the Gothic. Many of these works have rarely, if ever, been republished since the nineteenth century.