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"Ghosts of Geneva" series 99c Byron's Demon

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It was the most famous gathering in English literary history. In May, 1816, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley rented neighbouring houses on the shores of Lake Geneva.

One rainy day, Byron came up with an idea - one that was to change the course of literature. "We will each write a ghost story," he declared.

His companions - the dazzling poet Shelley and his 18-year old mistress Mary, the handsome, neurotic doctor Polidori, and Byron himself - on the run from England after an incestuous affair - all took up the challenge.

Over the course of that wet summer by the shores of Lake Geneva, the novel Frankenstein - conceived by Mary Shelley after a nightmare - was born; while Byron began one of the first Vampire stories ever written.

But what happened to the original tales the brilliant companions told one other during the gloomy Swiss evenings? In the Ghosts of Geneva Kate Hoyland reconstructs them, and the fascinating events - and interwoven lives - of that extraordinary summer.

In the second book of the "Ghosts of Geneva" series, Lord Byron's Demon, the glamorous poet begins his tale. He recounts meeting the charismatic Hunt, a fellow aristocrat who befriends and accompanies him on his eastern travels. On Byron's return to England his fame, and his misdemeanors, catch up with him. But Byron's waking up to find he was famous will be nothing compared with the reappearance of Hunt.
Mary Shelley knows that any story attached to Byron is already being inflated into myth. Is Hunt really a "foul feeder," as Byron says? And does Byron know more about Vampires than he is letting on?
Ghosts of Geneva is the second in a brilliant series of novellas certain to appeal to fans of gothic literature, devotees of Victorian fiction, and followers of historical novelists such as Sarah Waters.

Kate Hoyland is the author of the gripping novel, The Icarus Diaries. For many years she was a producer for the BBC World Service, specialising in Asian and International news. She now lives in London with her young son.


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