THE fourteen tales reprinted in the main section of this volume were first published in a British or Irish magazine between 1819 and 1838, and in each instance the magazine text is the copy text. Details of dates and the magazine of publication appear in the explanatory notes, as does information regarding the various reprintings of specific tales. In the case of Polidori's The Vampyre, no manuscript has been discovered, and though the tale appeared in book form shortly after it was published in the New Monthly Magazine, both the magazine and the book text were almost certainly printed without Polidori's knowledge. In the text of The Vampyre, two obvious errors in tense have been corrected, and the punctuation has been altered in a small number of cases in order to improve the sense; this usually involves a comma being changed to either a semicolon or a full stop. In all other instances, the New Monthly text has been followed. For a full discussion of the textual history of The Vampyre, see Henry R. Viets, "'The London Editions of Polidori's The Vampyre'" in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 63 ( 1969), 83-103, and The Vampyre and Ernestus Berchtold, eds. D. L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf ( Toronto, 1994), 21-6.
The text of all fourteen tales has been modernized in a number of ways: double quotation marks have been changed to single, a standard format has been adopted for the headings, and, where necessary, square brackets have been changed to round. In James Hogg's "'Some Terrible Letters from Scotland'" the brief editorial introductions to the second and third letters have been taken out of square brackets and put into italics, and in the anonymous tale 'The Curse' rows of asterisks used as ellipses and to subdivide the text have been eliminated. In several of the tales obvious errors in spelling and punctuation have been silently corrected. Prefatory letters or statements have been omitted from the front of some of the tales and