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Lost Edinburgh

“In growing from a huddle of huts round a fortress on a volcanic rock into an international and cosmopolitan city, Edinburgh has had to change.”

Not only is Edinburgh one of my favourite cities but it’s one I thought I knew really well – that is, until I picked up the book my sister gave me last Christmas.

Lost Edinburgh looks at the history of the city through its roads, gates and buildings, those that have not survived until the present day. The author, Hamish Coghill, takes us on a journey through the centuries, inviting us to explore the streets and lanes, the bridges, churches, jails and tenements as they once were but are no longer. Supplementing his narration with drawings, photographs and quotations by former city notables, he explains how fire, invasion, social conditions and customs demanded that the old be replaced with the new. Sometimes that demand came in the interest of a thing called progress, when the political will overpowered need and even common sense. One wonders just how much of old Edinburgh (and of other cities of the realm) might have remained to be admired had not redevelopment become the fashion.


Over the centuries of its existence, from the small settlement perched on a ridge below a mighty castle to the modern metropolis that hosts a world-renowned festival, Edinburgh has seen many changes. The mediaeval city lay in a countryside of hills, rivers and lochs. The hills are unchanged; few of the lochs remain. Even the courses of the rivers are not quite what they once were.

Much of what the modern tourist sees and admires in Edinburgh is, in an historical sense, new. Many of the buildings of the Old Town, from the Lawnmarket and High Street to the Cowgate, although they bear the mark of time, are replacements for others wilfully destroyed or fallen into rank disrepair. Even the New Town, conceived in the mid 18th century has witnessed change over the years.

The land that became Princes Street Gardens once lay under the infamous North Loch, depository for much of Edinburgh’s unwanted rubbish. The Meadows lay under another, the South Loch. Princes Street itself was not designed as the main artery of the 1766 New Town. That honour belonged to George Street with its spacious Charlotte and St Andrew Squares at either end. St Andrew’s House, headquarters of the Scottish Government occupies the site of a former jail.

More recently, change has resulted from evolving social pleasures and leisure pursuits. In the mid 20th century, Edinburgh boasted more than twenty cinemas. Most have gone, either demolished or converted for other purposes. The same fate overtook the once popular public dance halls. Of the twenty-three breweries in 1939 Edinburgh, there is now only one.

For the writer or researcher, Lost Edinburgh is a mine of information. None of that is of earth-shattering importance, though of interest and value to the social historian.  The book is often too a source of much serendipity. I learned, for example, that one of the properties destroyed when the South Bridge was constructed in 1785 was “one of the grandest houses … in the town …“, and was indeed the town house of the Lockhart family of Carnwath, my somewhat distant and maybe spurious “cousins”.

Lost Edinburgh is a book to be either read through or dipped into between readings of other books. Hamish Coghill knows his city and has recreated its atmosphere. I could wander with him along the streets I know, trying to imagine them as they were. And I could follow him down the narrow wynds where once crept the bodysnatchers Burke and Hare. He does not always present his subject matter chronologically but the chapters are short and the paragraph content  clearly identified. Though a paperback, the book is printed on quality paper with an old Edinburgh map as endpapers. It  would benefit from a more comprehensive index, especially with regard to the sources of its drawings and photographs, (and perhaps a modern map too!). These shortcomings apart, it deserves its place on the non-fiction shelf.

First Anniversary

It scarcely seems possible but it’s already a year since I posted my first book review on WordPress!

It seems I’ve written 54 blogs since then. 36 of them have been book reviews, including 10 “classics” for the Classics Club. Since I’m committed to read and review 50 of these classic novels in five years starting October 2013, that means I’m pretty much on target – so far.

Anyway, what I really want to do in this post is to say a big thank you.

So, to all readers of my blog out there, especially those of you who have been kind enough to like what I’ve written, to comment on it, and even to follow me -

Danke Schoen – Gracias – Domo Arigato – Merci – Tack – Efharistoor in whatever your favourite language might be – Thank You Very Much!

I hope to be able to continue writing something of interest in the coming months.

‘For words, like Nature, half reveal

And half conceal the Soul within’ (Tennyson)

Mataoka’s Last Journey

‘Tis enough that the child liveth.’

Rebecca’s Tale (Part Three)

by Andrew G Lockhart

Wahunsenacawh did not attend his daughter’s wedding. Instead, he sent a brother-in-law and two nephews ‘to see the manner of the mariage and to doe in that behalfe what they were requested’. According to some accounts, he also sent Mataoka a pearl necklace as a present. His consent – tacit or otherwise – to the union was seen as a gesture that the two peoples should patch up their differences. Thus, whether founded on love, mutual respect or realpolitik, the marriage of John Rolfe and Mataoka brought about a period of peace between British settlers and Native Americans.

Rolfe had settled a plantation at Varina, about fifty miles upriver from Jamestown, where he undertook trials with tobacco strains. By 1612, samples of his crop were already being shipped to England where it found favour among smokers for its strength and sweetness. After their wedding, Rolfe and Mataoka/Rebecca lived together at the farm for the next two years. In January 1615, Rebecca gave birth to a son, who was baptised with the name Thomas.

Extract from 'General Historie of Virginia' by Captain John Smith

Extract from ‘General Historie of Virginia’ by Captain John Smith

Inevitably, the marriage, Mataoka’s conversion and baptism, and the birth of Thomas were seen by the Virginia Company as propaganda tools. It decided to use these events to obtain further financial support for the colony. In the spring of 1616, the Rolfes sailed for Plymouth, England in the company of Deputy Governor Thomas Dale, arriving there in June. Several braves of the Powhatan travelled with them. They visited Heacham Hall and toured London. The Virginia Company represented Rebecca as an Indian princess and a symbol of the successful integration of the Native American into European culture. They commissioned her portrait. She was presented to the king and queen.

To what extent her reception was due to the intervention of Captain John Smith we cannot tell. However, on learning of the visit, Smith wrote to Queen Anne (Anne of Denmark, wife of James I) begging her favour to the girl who had been the ‘instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine and utter confusion.’

‘Pocahontas’, Smith went on, ‘was married to an English Gentleman, with whom at this present she is in England; the first Christian ever of that Nation, the first Virginian ever spoke English, or had a child in mariage by an Englishman, a matter surely … of a Prince’s understanding.’

In March 1617, the Rolfes decided to return to America. As they made their preparations for departure, Rebecca felt unwell. They embarked at London but by the time they reached Gravesend she was seriously ill, possibly with pneumonia. She was carried ashore and died in her husband’s arms. ‘Tis enough that the child liveth,’ she is supposed to have said.

Historical records are as we find them, for better or worse; and we can choose what to believe – and enjoy, admire or deprecate – in the various stories of Pocahontas’s life.
There is the modern myth exemplified, perhaps even promulgated, by that controversial film, an animated, musical romance by the Disney Corporation, owing only a small debt to history. Then there are the fictionalised accounts, admitted by their authors to be novels and nothing more. These range from imaginative fairytale to serious reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the history of Britain and America.
There is the extant historical record, seventeenth century documents of English explorers and colonists in North America, telling a tale of hardship, courage and evangelising. Then there is Native American tradition, which sings a very different song of fierce pride, independence and foreign greed and corruption. Oral tales of the Mattaponi tribes of Virginia challenge many of the events described in western sources. They contend, for example, that Thomas Rolfe was born out of wedlock as a result of the rape of Mataoka (possibly by Thomas Dale) while she was a prisoner.



Or, we may look instead upon nigh four hundred years of discussion and argument among travellers and historians, and conclude that, instead of world-shaping drama, Rebecca’s Tale is a mere anecdote of no relevance in the grand scheme of world affairs.

But somewhere in the midst of all lies a true tale of human endeavour and weakness, one that marks the very beginnings of the recorded history of the land that was to become the United States of America.

‘for the good of this plantation’

‘… Pokahuntas. To whom my hartie and best thoughts are …’

Rebecca’s Tale (Part Two)

by Andrew G Lockhart

Heacham is a holiday resort in the county of Norfolk. Situated on the shores of the Wash, it is the English centre of lavender farming and distilling, and boasts 100 acres under cultivation. The village was of sufficient importance in 1086 to have ‘… always 1 horse, 30 head of cattle, 60 pigs, 600 sheep …’, according to its entry in Little Domesday.

Heacham’s most famous son, John Rolfe, was born in the former Heacham Hall in 1585. In May 1609,  attracted by the prospect of fortune and adventure, and intrigued by the idea of developing his own strain of tobacco in Virginia, he set sail for the colonies with his new wife Sarah. His vessel, Sea Venture, was flagship of a seven-vessel fleet carrying supplies, equipment and more than 500 passengers and crew. In response to a letter from Captain John Smith at Jamestown, these new would-be settlers included ‘ … carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons and diggers up of trees, roots, well provided …’ 

Partly by clever negotiation and partly by empty threat, Smith had formed a close working relationship with the Powhatan tribes of Chesapeake, in which, Mataoka/Pocahontas was apparently a willing participant. By the middle of 1608, she had become a welcome sight at Jamestown, which was still suffering intermittently from hunger and illness. She visited regularly, bringing much needed food and carrying messages. Even ‘ when inconstant fortune turned our peace to war’, Smith wrote,  ‘this tender virgin would still not spare to dare to visit us, and by her our jars have oft been appeased.’ The population of the embryo colony, depleted by about half the original numbers during their first winter, had increased by the arrival of three further shiploads – about two hundred people in all – including the first women. Yet few, including the nominated leaders, knew much about surviving in such a hostile environment. In fact, John Smith was probably the only one of the first arrivals with any understanding of real hardship, or with experience of conflict with non-Christian peoples. His standing among his fellow settlers had risen from tolerated outsider to leading player in the ruling council, even if that leadership was accepted with reluctance.

However, the community was still inadequate to the task of settlement. Men with trade skills, or a knowledge of farming, and tools to work the land were needed if the colony was to survive.

The Sea Venture never made it to Virginia. Driven off course by a storm, she eventually made landfall at Bermuda, where her 150 surviving passengers and crew remained until May 1610. They built two new ships and set sail for Jamestown leaving behind the graves of, among others, Sarah Rolfe and the Rolfe’s infant child. Rolfe and his companions arrived in the colony to find it still beset by starvation and disease. Its survival was gravely in doubt.

Bermuda Commemorative Coin

Bermuda Commemorative Coin

Towards the end of 1609, John Smith had been badly hurt in an accident with gunpowder – some versions of the story suggest it was no accident – and had to return to England for proper medical treatment. Coincidental or not, his departure saw a breakdown in relations between colonists and natives, and the beginning of intermittent war between them. Mataoka’s visits to the settlement became less frequent and eventually stopped altogether. According to Smith’s journal, she had been told he was dead, and when they met again in 1616 in London ‘she was at first too overcome with emotion to speak’.

We know very little about Mataoka’s life during the next three years. She may have married a tribesman, and been widowed. However, in 1613, Samuel Argall, an Englishman on a trading mission, devised a plan to kidnap her and hold her as a bargaining tool in the war. He lured her aboard his ship and brought her to Jamestown. Later, the British took her to the settlement at Henrico, where she and Rolfe met in 1614. Rolfe had meantime enjoyed some success with tobacco planting, while Mataoka had taken instruction in reading and speaking English and in the Christian religion.

Rolfe, though ‘no way led (so farre forth as mans weakenesse may permit) with the unbridled desire of carnall affection,’ confessed to a genuine affection for Mataoka, and wrote to the governor of the colony requesting permission to marry her. With our modern cynicism we may doubt his motives, yet his letter rings true, that his overriding concerns were ‘the good of this plantation … the honour of our countrie … the glory of God … and for the converting to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbeleeving creature’.

one of many portraits of Mataoka's wedding

one of many portraits of Mataoka’s wedding

What Pocahontas thought of the arrangement we shall never truly know. Motivated perhaps by admiration for the tobacco planter, or by hopes of an alliance that would bring peace between the colonists and her people, she acquiesced. She was baptised into the Christian faith, adopted the name Rebecca, and married John Rolfe in Jamestown on April 5, 1614.

[next: Mataoka in England]


From Jamestown to Gravesend

‘… the Kings most dear and well-beloved daughter …’

Rebecca’s Tale (Part One)

by Andrew G Lockhart

Somewhere in a quiet churchyard in Gravesend, on the south bank of the River Thames, lie the remains of a young woman called Rebecca Rolfe.

Gravesend dates back to ancient times. It has its own entry in the Domesday Book, where it was recorded that ‘[t]here is a church , and 1 hithe’. The Roman-built Watling Street passes nearby. The town acquired new prestige as a port during England’s wars with France in the fourteenth century, and was once sacked by the French in reprisal for English raids on the Continent. By the beginning of the seventeenth it was already first port of call for vessels arriving in the Thames, including tobacco traders bound for London.

The present-day church of St George was built only in 1732, but it replaced a mediaeval one destroyed by fire only a few years before. The last resting place of Rebecca Rolfe, according to the parish register, was in a vault under the chancel of the original building. Though attempts to discover it have been unsuccessful, visitors can see all around reminders of this woman who, for a single short year, was the talk of all England and was even presented at the royal court. These reminders include two stained-glass memorial windows, a dedicated plaque and, outside in the pleasant garden, a larger-than-life bronze statue of her, a replica of which stands on the shores of Chesapeake Bay in the State of Virginia, a mere hundred miles from Washington DC.

I suspect that the name Rebecca Rolfe is not one many people (in England anyway) will immediately recognise. Yet she is a legendary figure in the culture of both Europeans and North Americans. For four hundred years, historians and novelists alike have tried to tell her story but none has managed to tease out the whole truth from a maze of contradictory reports and diaries. She has become a figure of romance in books for children (and adults). Her treatment by Hollywood sparked indignation among her descendants and kin on two continents. She is the subject of many portraits.

The girl who on her marriage became Mistress Rolfe is much better known by another name. The tale of which she is but a part is about colonisation, and ultimately exploitation, but also about endurance and – if we are to believe all – even compassion and bravery. When she was born in the New World in the last years of the sixteenth century she was given the name Matoaka (or Metoaka); when she died in England she was only twenty-two years old. She was born around 1595, the daughter of Wahunsenacawh, king or supreme chief of the Powhatan Federation, a group of native American clans living and farming in the Chesapeake Bay area, between the James River and the Potomac. The world knows her today as Pocahontas.

Matoaka - a 1616 portrait

Matoaka – a 1616 portrait

King James I, who ascended the throne of the united Great Britain in March 1603, was no less keen than his predecessor, Queen Elizabeth to establish a permanent colony in North America. In 1606, he granted a charter to the Virginia Company of London to realise this objective and in December of that year, a fleet of three ships, the Godspeed, the Discovery and the Susan Constant set out for North America under sealed orders. Aboard the Susan Constant, was a certain Captain John Smith, soldier of fortune, explorer and one-time trader, pirate and slave.

Conditions in the colony were harsh. Food supplies were low. Captain Smith persuaded the leaders of the community to let him lead an expedition to Werowocomoco, the Powhatan capital, and exchange western goods for supplies. For what happened there we have only Smith’s word. In a letter to Queen Anne in 1616, he wrote: ‘… taken prisoner by the power of Powhatan their chief King, I received from this great Salvage exceeding great courtesy, especially from his son Nantaquaus … and his sister Pocahontas, the Kings most dear and well-beloved daughter.’

After some weeks at Werowocomoco, Smith fell out with his hosts and was apparently condemned to death. His letter went on: ‘after some six weeks fatting amongst those Salvage courtiers, at the minute of my execution, [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown.’

Pocahontas Statue at Gravesend

Pocahontas Statue at Gravesend

Many historians disbelieve Smith’s account of the episode, which he embellished in a book published some seven years after the date of his letter. Others attempt to explain it symbolically. Whatever the truth, there can be no doubt that Smith was the man who, more than any other, was responsible for creating the Pocahontas legend.

Matoaka became a regular visitor to Jamestown where, according to some versions of the story, she was held hostage for two years to maintain peace with the tribes. Perhaps out of curiosity, she began to learn more of the Europeans and their customs, thus paving the way for her assimilation and marriage to an Englishman.

[next, in part two; John Rolfe arrives in Jamestown]



The Road to Fotheringhay

In the Footsteps of a Queen

by Andrew G Lockhart

Fotheringhay hides its past well. The village comprises a few dwellings, a charming hostelry and an historic church. The River Nene meanders through its fields on the way from the Grand Union Canal at Northampton to the North Sea. From time to time, a narrow boat passes this way and moors by the riverbank. The rural tranquillity, especially on a balmy summer day, is intoxicating.

The tranquillity conceals a history filled with treachery and bloodshed. Fotheringhay was once a place of some importance. King Richard III of England was born here in October 2, 1452. And it was here, on February 8, 1587, that Mary Queen of Scots, having been found guilty of complicity in a plot to depose Queen Elizabeth of England, was executed by royal command. All that remains of the great castle where she died are a few stones surrounded by an iron fence, yet today the site attracts visitors from all over the world.


Fotheringhay Church

Mary Stuart was, in the words of Sir Walter Scott, ‘… in every sense, one of the most unhappy Princesses that ever lived, from the moment when she came into the world.’ She was born on December 8, 1542 in the Palace of Linlithgow, about twenty miles from Edinburgh. Her father was King James V of Scotland, her mother Marie de Guise, the daughter of a noble French family.

Linlithgow today is a small county town of twelve thousand inhabitants, but in the mid sixteenth century it was, like Fotheringhay, a place of some importance. It lay on the royal road linking the castles of Edinburgh and Stirling. Parts of the Palace still stand. No prince lives there now, but it is used to stage historic pageants and as a setting for weddings. Even as a semi-ruin, it is a magnificent piece of architecture.
Close by and rising above it is the steeple of St Michael’s Church, rebuilt in the fifteen hundreds, a century after the fire that destroyed it and much of the town. Both palace and church occupy a prime position on a mound overlooking Linlithgow Loch to the north.
Just like the village on the banks of the Nene, it is a picturesque spot.

Linlithgow Palace and Church in Modern Setting

Mary Queen of Scots spent only twelve of her forty-four years in the country of her birth. She lived for thirteen in France. She ruled Scotland as an adult for only six years – turbulent years during which she became pawn in a deadly politico-religious chess game. In July of 1567, she abdicated in favour of her son James.
During the first six years of her childhood, Mary knew no fewer than four homes before being shipped to France and marriage with its Dauphin. Her father had died less than a week after her birth. It was 1561 when she returned to Scotland, and her destiny.
Mary was more French than Scottish, and probably the former by inclination. Not only did she have a French mother, she had on her father’s side English and Danish as well as French ancestry. Any blood of the great Bruce that remained in her veins was diluted by five generations of dynastic marriage.
Of the Stuart Kings, only the first two, Roberts II and III, had married Scotswomen. James I, who grew up in England and was ransomed to the Scots for £40,000, had married Joan Beaufort, granddaughter of John of Gaunt. The bride of James II was another French noblewoman, Marie de Gueldres, while that of James III had been Princess Margarethe of Denmark. To crown all, Mary’s paternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.

Though greeted in 1561 by cheering Edinburgh crowds, Mary’s popularity was short-lived. The Scottish lords, Protestant and Catholic alike, vied with each other for her favour. The Calvinists muttered threateningly about her Papist rituals, though it has to be said that Mary did not flaunt her religion in public. Nor did she attempt to undermine the Scots Kirk.

In the end, she was brought down not by religion but by love. Mary fell for and married the handsome but rakish Darnley, son of James V’s half-sister. When in February 1567 Darnley was murdered, it is widely believed by the Earl of Bothwell, Mary married the latter in a Protestant wedding at Edinburgh. Her later claim that their engagement had been ‘accompanied not the less with force’ did not save her crown. She spent the last twenty years of her life in a prison of one sort or another.

‘These treasons will be proved to you and all made manifest. yet it is my will, that you answer the nobles and peers of the kingdom as if I were myself present … act plainly without reserve, and you will sooner be able to obtain favour of me.’ (Queen Elizabeth of England to Mary Stuart, Oct 12, 1586)

‘…think you have not in the world a more loving kinswoman, nor a more dear friend than myself; nor any that will watch more carefully to preserve you and your estate.’ (Queen Elizabeth to King James VI of Scotland, Feb 14, 1587)

Innocent or guilty, – and there will always be doubts – Mary kept her queenly calm to the block itself. She remained true to her Catholic faith despite entreaties to embrace the Protestant religion. Afterwards, her body was preserved at Fotheringhay for six months before being interred in a vault in Peterborough Cathedral. There it remained for twenty-five years until her son  transferred it to a tomb in Westminster Abbey.

James I of Great Britain, ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’, was not the greatest of our monarchs. However, he succeeded where others had failed in uniting the kingdoms of north and south.

Perhaps that was Mary Stuart’s true legacy.




On a dark and stormy night …

“… by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.”

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Victor Frankenstein, a young Swiss scientist, creates a monster from the putrefaction of graveyards and charnelhouses, and enlivens it with a spark of electricity. But he is so horrified by his creation that he immediately rejects it. However, the “monster” is capable of love and it seeks human companionship, only to be rejected yet again by the humans it seeks to befriend. Alone and despised, it turns to violence, directing its vengeance towards those whom Frankenstein holds dear. It murders his younger brother, William, and frames a family servant for the crime.

When Victor denies it a female companion, the monster kills first his friend Clerval, then Elizabeth, his new bride. Victor pursues his creation across Europe to the far north but instead of destroying it, he becomes the creature’s final victim.

What is the modern reader to make of this novel, begun in 1816 when Mary Shelley was barely nineteen and published in 1818? Seeded on a rainy evening at Lord Byron’s villa near Geneva and intended for a “ghost” story, Frankenstein has become the epitome of the horror genre in fiction. Although the science (such as it is) behind Frankenstein is distasteful and many of the scenes in the book are horrific in nature, it is a sad rather than a terrifying story: man outreaches himself; he plays a god and pays the price. The responsibility for the tale’s metamorphosis from gothic to true horror lies with the movie industry. Generations of film makers have sought to terrify audiences whilst largely ignoring the novel’s subtle messages and morality.

The mind image of Lon Chaney Jr. lumbering across the screen, not only in the original movie but in several spin-offs, is one to discourage further exploration of the original work. I had seen so many bad horror movies featuring Victor Frankenstein’s monster that, for most of my life, I was put off reading the original at all.  Now that I have read it through, I think that by focussing on the creation, and causing confusion (in the minds of many at least) between creation and creator, Hollywood has done a disservice to Shelley’s intention. The films also miss the moral of the tale, which is made clear in the author’s subtitle The Modern Prometheus.

Mary Shelley, her poet husband Percy, and Lord Byron were all fascinated by the Greek myth of Prometheus. The demigod Prometheus, sometime lover of Athena, who taught him the arts and the sciences, breathed life into mankind. When he passed on to them his learning and gave them fire, he angered Zeus. And when finally he persuaded his brother Epimetheus to reject Zeus’s gift of Pandora – the most beautiful woman in the world, Zeus had him “chained naked to a pillar … where a greedy vulture tore at his liver, all day, year in, year out,” as Robert Graves writes in The Greek Myths; “and there was no end to the pain, because every night (during which Prometheus was exposed to cruel frost and cold) his liver grew whole again.”

The parallels with Frankenstein are clear enough. Victor at last finds an audience for his tale in the ice and snow of the Arctic.  The vulture in this case is his conscience. Chained by madness, there is indeed no end to his pain … except in death.

“… I wept bitterly; and clasping my hands in agony, I exclaimed, ‘Oh! stars and clouds and winds … if ye really pity me, crush sensation and memory; let me become as nought.”

Frankenstein is a short novel (about 85,000 words), easily read. It is beautifully crafted, and literary in the telling. However, poetic though its language is, it is written in a style not favoured by modern fiction readers. Even the dialogue has a sameness about it which takes no account of character differences. There is little of what today’s teachers of creative writing call showing. In that, Frankenstein is very much a child of the early 19th century. Yet it has a certain charm; I feel sometimes that showing is overrated anyway at the expense of good narrative. Though it is not a great novel, it is not a bad novel either. After the first edition was published, despite a slating by the critics, it quickly became a bestseller. Its theme and plot, produced in 21st century novelistic language would, I think, find a worldwide readership today.

[As a footnote, I would mention that my Penguin Classics edition of Frankenstein is the 1831 edition of the book, containing Shelley's own revisions. However, significant differences between that and the 1818 edition are noted in the first appendix, in which the earlier version is also printed. Two further appendices are short stories, the first by Byron, A Fragment, the second by John Polidori, The Vampyre, both conceived during those wet evenings near Geneva!]

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