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Tuesday Ten: Victorians & Vampires


I’m completing research on a new short vampire story set during the Civil War and bought a book on the origins of vampire lore.

Although I knew Dracula was published during the Victorian era, I hadn’t realized how many novels and stories during the period revolved around vampires. Aside from Dracula, though, these vampires weren’t your classic blood-suckers. There were a lot of variations as there is in vampire legends and folklore around the world.

1) Edgar Allen Poe’s story “Ligeia” (1838) is the tale of a dead woman who brings back the corpse of her husband’s second wife.

2) Smyth Upton’s novel, The Last of the Vampires (1845) held that vampirism was a special form of magic.

3) G. M. W. Reynold’s Faust (1847) reflected the same theme where vampires used sacrifice to obtain life, pleasure and power.

4)W. Harrison Ainworth’s Auriol (1850) is a tale of immortality gained through human sacrifice.

5) In 1853, the first English language novel, Spiritual Vampirism was a story about energy draining vampires who could be men or women.

6) Two more novels in 1890 and two in 1897 also featured energy draining vampires.

7) Vampires by Julian Gordon (1891) used vampirism as a metaphor for the destructive relationship between the characters.

8) In 1892, in The Lost Stradavarius, a sorcerer drains energy from musicians who play a certain violin.

9) In a story by W. L. Alden in 1894, a teacher’s talents are absorbed by one of her students.

10) And of course, the king of all vampire novels, Dracula, by Bram Stoker came out in 1897.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters by Rosemary Ellen Guiley: Checkmark Books, 2005.

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6 Comments

  1. Lynda Hilburn says:

    Susan: I’ll definitely check out these stories. Thanks for the new (well, new to me!) resources.
    Lynda Hilburn

  2. Susan Macatee says:

    Thanks, Lynda!
    It’s a great resource book. Lot’s of great stuff and I’ve only had time to read a fraction of it.

  3. Jennifer Shirk says:

    Oooh,that was interesting. And that Edgar Allen Poe story sounded really creepy–in a good way. 🙂

  4. Susan Macatee says:

    One of my favorite Victorian writers, Jennifer!

    I love all that creepy stuff.

  5. Nicole McCaffrey says:

    I LOVE Edgar Allen Poe–yet that’s one I don’t think I’ve read! I’ve have to look for it.

    And I had no idea so many vampire novels were published during the Victorian era!

    Great list, Susan!

  6. Susan Macatee says:

    Thanks, Nic!
    I got hooked on Poe back in grade school, when we read all his poems.

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