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Commentary on "The Seance"

My role in the preparation of this has been purely editorial - modernising spellings, inserting punctuation, reassembling split infinitives, and grouping the narrative into tidy paragraphs. Whatever else, I am sure that most serious students of English literature would agree that I certainly did not make the whole thing up myself.

This narrative, undoubtedly, does not contradict anything that is known about Byron's character - his vanity, particularly in regard to his lameness, his rather broad tastes in terms of mattress accomplices, and his undoubted passionate attachment - possibly incestuous - with his half-sister. The reader should be aware that on the night in question, the company had all decided to invent ghost stories - although Mary Shelley was the only one to seriously carry this out, inventing the "Frankenstein" myth. Byron's contribution was to modify "the Giaour" to include vampires (see "He walks in darkness") (CH).