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Cameron and Karpenko, editors, The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature: A Feast of Blood

The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature

A Feast of Blood

Brooke Cameron and Lara Karpenko, editors

Against the social and economic upheavals that characterized the nineteenth century, the border-bending nosferatu embodied the period’s fears as well as its forbidden desires. This volume looks at both the range among and legacy of vampires in the nineteenth century, including race, culture, social upheaval, gender and sexuality, new knowledge and technology. The figure increased in popularity throughout the century and reached its climax in Dracula (1897), the most famous story of bloodsuckers. This book includes chapters on Bram Stoker’s iconic novel, as well as touchstone texts like John William Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819) and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872), but it also focuses on the many “Other” vampire stories of the period. Topics discussed include: the long-war veteran and aristocratic vampire in Varney; the vampire as addict in fiction by George MacDonald; time discipline in Eric Stenbock’s Studies of Death; fragile female vampires in works by Eliza Lynn Linton; the gender and sexual contract in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s “Good Lady Ducayne”; cultural appropriation in Richard Burton’s Vikram and the Vampire; as well as Caribbean vampires and the racialized “Other” in Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire. While drawing attention to oft-overlooked stories, this study ultimately highlights the vampire as a cultural shape-shifter whose role as “Other” tells us much about Victorian culture and readers’ fears or desires.


Brooke Cameron and Lara Karpenko

1. “Black Female Vampires in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Folklore”

Giselle Liza Anatol, University of Kansas

2. Sicker Ever After: The Invalid as Vampire in Fiction by Arabella Kenealy and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

Brenda Mann Hammack, Fayetteville State University

3. “The Dropping of Blood from the Clouds”: Imperial Vampirism in Richard Burton’s Vikram and the Vampire or Tales of Hindu Devilry

Ardele Thomas, City College of San Francisco

4. Curating the Vampire: Queer (Un)Natural Histories in Carmilla

Lin Young, Queen’s University

5. The Addict as Vampire

Rebecca McLean, Independent Scholar

6. “What a vampire!”: Gender and the Modern Sexual Contract in Braddon’s “Good Lady Ducayne”

Brooke Cameron, Queen’s University

7. The Vampire’s Touch in “Olalla” and The Blood of the Vampire

Kimberly Cox, Chadron State College

8. “Keep[ing] Time at Arm’s-Length”: Vampire and Veterans in Varney

Rebecca Nesvet, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

9. “A Financial Vampire”: The Aesthetics of Repetition in Eric Stenbock’s Studies of Death

Lara Karpenko, Carroll University

10. The Vampire as Byron: Polidori’s story adapted to the French and British Stage

Matthew Gibson, University of Macau

11. America’s First Vampire Novel and the Supernatural as Artifice

Gary D. Rhodes, University of Central Florida

12. Queerly (Re)Vamped: Women, Men and Neo-Victorian Dracula(s)

Sarah E. Maier, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

Brooke Cameron, PhD in English, University of Notre Dame, is Associate Professor of English at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is the author of Critical Alliances: Economics and Feminism in English Women’s Writing, 1880–1914 (2020), as well as multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on gender and economic themes in Victorian literature. She has published peer-reviewed articles on Dracula, and is currently coediting a special issue on “Vampires: Consuming Monsters and Monstrous Consumption” for Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural.

Lara Karpenko, PhD in English, University of Notre Dame, is Associate Professor of English at Carroll University. She has published work in journals such as the Victorian Review and Nineteenth-Century Contexts and is the coeditor, along with Shalyn Claggett, of Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age (2017). Her current work explores Victorian posthumanism and feminist aesthetics, and she is editing a special issue of The Victorian Review on the subject.

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