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Views & Reviews Between the Lines

The very model of a vampyre

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 25 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b801
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    To those of literary ambition but modest talent the company of writers of genius can be discouraging. No quantity of self deception is sufficient to disguise the gulf between their own productions and those of the geniuses in question; it has the same effect as coming too near a flame.

    John Polidori (1795–1821) was the son of an Italian refugee in England. He attended Ampleforth College and then Edinburgh University, where he received his medical degree at the age of 19. Lord Byron selected him as companion and personal physician for his journey to the Continent that started in 1816 but discharged him after a few months because he found him bumptious, …

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