This Halloween weekend, St Pancras Old Church is opening its doors to celebrate the father of the English vampire genre, John William Polidori. Polidori was not only buried at St Pancras Old Church, but was close friends with Mary Shelley, whose mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, had been buried at St Pancras thirty years before.
On Saturday 2nd November at 6pm, Professor Andrew Stott of the University of Buffalo, SUNY, will give a lecture on Polidori from his new book The Vampyre Family: Passion, Envy and the Curse of Byron, published by Canongate November 2013. This will be followed by a drinks reception where copies of Prof Stott’s book will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.
The event is in aid of the Church’s Appeals Project, seeking to raise the £350, 000 needed to carry out essential repairs on the Grade II* listed church, one of the oldest in London. The church is home to an altar stone dating from the 7th century, the Grade I listed Sir John Soane monument and the evocative Hardy Tree, and has a history which includes Charles Dickens (who immortalised the church in his Tale of Two Cities), the Beatles (who visited on one of their last public appearances) and the Olympic flame (which passed through the churchyard on its journey last summer).
Tickets are £10 and can be booked by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds go to the repair and protection of this historic London landmark.
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