Lord Byron served as a model for the first real vampire story, John William Polidori's The Vampyre, published in 1819. Polidori was Byron's physician, and in the summer of 1816, he stayed with him beside Lake Geneva. There, he and Byron spent time with Shelley and his wife, Mary, mother of Frankenstein. The several friends were kept indoors for several days as it rained unceasingly. To while away the time, they read the collection of stories called Fantasmagoriana. Then, they proposed a ghost story contest, out of which Frankenstein and The Vampyre were born.
Not long after their Switzerland sojourn, Byron and Polidori fell out and the latter went off travelling, eventually returning to London. Inspired by Byron, his Lord Ruthven was the name chosen for the vampire. The name was taken from Lady varoline Lamb's novel Glenarvon. Polidori's novel was published in New Monthly Magazine as a "Tale by Lord Byron". Both Polidori and Byron protested because Byron was not the author. At this time, Byron was tremendously well-
The novel was an immediate success, partly because it was thought to be written by Byron. Nevertheless, the public accepted the novel for they were increasingly more interested in gothic fiction. Moreover, it transformed an ugly Slavic vampire myth into a suave, charismatic upper class nobleman who turned out to be a vampire.