Polidori was one of the earliest pupils at recently established Ampleforth College from 1804, and in 1810 went up to the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote a thesis on sleepwalking and received his degree as a doctor of medicine on 1 August 1815 at the age of 19. In 1816 Dr. Polidori entered Lord Byron's service as his personal physician, and accompanied Byron on a trip through Europe. Publisher John Murray offered Polidori 500 English pounds to keep a diary of their travels, which Polidori's nephew William Michael Rossetti later edited. At the Villa Diodati, a house Byron rented by Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the pair met with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and her husband-to-be, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their companion (Mary's stepsister) Claire Clairmont. One night in June, after the company had read aloud from Fantasmagoriana, a French collection of German horror tales, Byron suggested that they each write a ghost story. Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote "A Fragment of a Ghost Story" and wrote down five ghost stories recounted by Matthew Gregory ("Monk") Lewis, published posthumously as the Journal at Geneva (including ghost stories) and on return to England, 1816, the journal entries beginning on 18 August 1816. Mary Shelley worked on a tale that would later evolve into Frankenstein. Byron wrote (and quickly abandoned) a fragment of a story, "Fragment of a Novel," about the main character Augustus Darvell, which Polidori used later as the basis for his own tale, "The Vampyre," the first published modern vampire story. Dismissed by Byron, Polidori travelled in Italy and then returned to England. His story, "The Vampyre," which featured the main character Lord Ruthven, was published in the April 1819 issue of New Monthly Magazine without his permission. Whilst in London he lived on Great Pulteney Street (Soho). Much to both his and Byron's chagrin, "The Vampyre" was released as a new work by Byron. Byron even released his own "Fragment of a Novel" in an attempt to clear up the mess, but, for better or worse, "The Vampyre" continued to be attributed to him. Polidori's long, Byron-influenced theological poem The Fall of the Angels, was published anonymously in 1821.