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Imposture by Benjamin Markovits
Imposture tells the story of Dr. John Polidori, who at age 19 was selected to be the personal physician to Lord Byron, mostly due to their similar features. He was present at the famous dinner with Percy and Mary Shelley where they each created ghost stories, eventually leading to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Polidori was eventually dismissed by Byron, and he returned to England a broken man. A few years later, the novella Vampyre was published, supposedly authored by Polidori, but the book sold briskly because the public believed Byron to be the true author. Polidori soon met a young woman named Eliza, who mistook him for Byron. Unwilling to let the woman slip away, Polidori claimed to be the poet. It was an imposture that could only lead to disaster. Benjamin Markovits' novel has received positive reviews with Scotland on Sunday saying, "The historical learning is worn so lightly, and integrated so completely, as to be almost imperceptible. It is a kind of silent triumph, like a perfectly executed forgery, that the entire novel could be read as if it were entirely a fiction, and not tethered to actual facts, personalities and events at all."