''[[http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6087 The Vampyre]]'' by John William Polidori, published in April 1819, was the first English prose vampire story and set off a craze of vampire fiction. It began as a [[http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_frag.htm fragment of a novel]] by Creator/LordByron and was adapted into a short story by Polidori, who had been Byron's personal physician. It was published with an attribution to Lord Byron -- probably on purpose, for the sake of selling more copies, as the misattribution stuck long after both Polidori and Byron corrected it.

The plot concerns Lord Ruthven[[note]]In real life, a title belonging to a prominent Scottish family, among other things[[/note]], a nobleman, and Aubrey, his traveling companion. In Greece, Aubrey learns about vampires from a girl he falls in love with, who is later killed by one. Ruthven dies, and makes Aubrey swear not to tell anyone about his death for a year and a day. When Aubrey returns to England, however, he finds Ruthven [[BackFromTheDead alive and well]], and courting his sister. Aubrey falls ill under the stress of keeping his oath. He dies shortly after revealing that Ruthven is a vampire, too late to save his sister.

As a matter of historical interest, Polidori wrote ''The Vampyre'' while holed up in a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva whiling away the extremely unpleasant [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer summer of 1816]] with two of Lord Byron's other friends: Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The latter produced ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' on the same trip.

Has been adapted numerous times into plays, [[Theatre/DerVampyr operas]], and even a [[Series/TheVampyrASoapOpera TV miniseries]].
!!Provides examples of:

* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Lord Ruthven invokes this trope to ensure his corpse will be exposed to moonlight, which he knows will revive him in undeath.
* {{Continuation}}: Had an unauthorized French sequel, ''[[http://books.google.com/books?id=XqcGAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires]]'' (1820). In an amusing case of imitating the original story, the novel was attributed to the French playwright Charles Nodier, who had adapted "The Vampyre" for the stage, instead of its actual author, Cyprien Bérard.
* DaywalkingVampire: Sunlight had no negative impact on Lord Ruthven (although moonlight healed him, making him arguably stronger during the night).
* DownerEnding
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Lord Ruthven is widely considered to be based on Lord Byron.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent:
** First, they are different from the traditional, more zombie-like vampires of Eastern European tradition. Polidori basically invented the seductive aristocratic vampire.
** Second, they are different from the modern conception of fictional vampires. In particular, the idea of vampires being healed by moonlight rarely shows up in fiction (although it is present in early vampire works, particularly [[Theatre/DerVampyr adaptations of "The Vampyre"]] and ''Literature/VarneyTheVampire'').
* TakeThat: In an attempt to correct the misattribution of authorship to him, Byron wrote about ''The Vampyre'', "I desire the responsibility of nobody’s dullness but my own."
** Ruthven also serves as one to Byron, who had spent [[HandsomeLech the trip flirting with every vaguely attractive human they encountered]] and generally playing the UpperClassTwit.
* VampiresAreSexGods: Mild and implied. Lord Ruthven is "seductive" and women are easily infatuated by his charms. Its also notable that [[spoiler: Aubrey's sister dies on her honeymoon with Lord Ruthven.]]