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some terrible idea

No other account of the writing contest verifies this bizarre project as Mary Shelley outlines it. Polidori himself, in the introduction to his realistic novel Ernestus Berchtold; or, the Modern Oedipus (1819), identified that work as the one he began as the response to the challenge given by Lord Byron. He did, however, also produce a horror-story of his own in direct competition with Byron's unfinished fragment, which he published in 1819 as The Vampyre; a Tale.