Category Archives: Vampires

The Witching Time (1885) edited by Henry Norman

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This is an anthology of stories and poetry published as T. Fisher Unwin’s Christmas annual for 1885. It was edited by Sir Henry Norman, a politician, journalist and author, who also edited Tales in Mid-Ocean the following year (available to read here). As the title implies, the collection features pieces appropriate for the twilight of the year, with most featuring prominent Gothic or supernatural elements. Highlights include Anne Crawford’s Vampire story, “A Mystery of the Campagna” (published under the pseudonym “Von Degen”); the humorous ‘explained supernatural’ tale, “The Spectre of Strathannan”- and an unusual foray into the Gothic from American realist William Archer.

The Witching Time [Kindle]

The Witching Time [ebook]

The Witching Time [PDF]

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The Romance of a Demon (1892) by Thomas Malyn

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This short novel was published in 1892 by the London firm of Digby, Long and Co. Apparently written as an attempt to discredit Theosophy, Buddhism and other esoteric religions, it tells the entertaining story of Duncan Derroll and his discovery of the occult practices that have brought disaster upon the family of his beloved Carrie Rimmon.

I stumbled across this book at the British Library last year. It’s extremely rare, being only viewable as an electronic scan even at the BL itself. I’ve transcribed the present text manually from the print on demand version issued by the British Library (I’ve checked with the library’s permissions department and apparently this doesn’t breach any copyright rules).

I’ve also made limited enquiries about the author, Thomas Malyn. Assuming this isn’t a pseudonym, The Romance of a Demon appears to have been Malyn’s only published work. I’ve identified two possible ‘Thomas Malyns’ who may be the author. One was a Chemist Manager based in Caerphilly and the other was a schoolteacher from Essex. The latter seems the most likely candidate, so here’s all I’ve discovered about Thomas Malyn. He was born in Essex c.1848, but spent some years lodging with Henry Browson and his wife at Legbourne in Lincolnshire, whilst working as a schoolteacher. By 1891, his occupation is given as ‘certificated schoolmaster’ and he has returned to Essex (residing at Braintree). He also entered the Freemasons in 1871, but appears to have left by the mid-1880s. By 1911, he had become a Headmaster, but I haven’t been able to find out which school/s he taught at. He appears to have married twice, once to Jane and, in 1893, to Margaret. He died in 1937.

Then again, the writer may well have been an obscure Chemist Manager from Caerphilly. Who can say? If anyone knows anything about the mysterious ‘Thomas Malyn’, I’d absolutely LOVE to hear from you!

The Romance of a Demon [Kindle]

The Romance of a Demon [Epub]

The Romance of a Demon [PDF]

John Long (1864-1935), whose firm, Digby, Long and Co., published the novel.

John Long (1864-1935), whose firm, Digby, Long and Co., published the novel.

Five Strange Stories by D.H. Lawrence

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These five stories represent the complete supernatural writing of D.H. Lawrence, the celebrated English modernist. All of the stories appear in The Woman Who Rode Away and other stories (1928) – the final collection of Lawrence’s short fiction to appear in his lifetime – and were written in the three or four years leading up to the publication of that volume. ‘Glad Ghosts’ received its first book publication in the short story collection of the same name, which appeared in 1926 – it had originally been written for Lady Cynthia Asquith’s Ghost Book. Asquith rejected it on account of its strange symbolism and difficult narrative style. ‘The Lovely Lady’ is a satiric vampire story. Each of the stories betray the bitter sarcasm characteristic of Lawrence’s work, and make for challenging and unsettling reading.

Five Strange Stories [Kindle]

Five Strange Stories [Epub]

Five Strange Stories [PDF]

Dracula’s Guest (1914) by Bram Stoker

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Stoker’s posthumous collection of uncollected tales includes a ‘deleted scene’ from his best known novel Dracula (1897), in which Jonathan Harker has a close encounter with a werewolf. The collection also contains ‘The Judge’s House’, a highly regarded haunted house mystery heavily influenced by the work of Stoker’s fellow Irishman Sheridan Le Fanu. The collection’s Wikipedia page contains details of the stories’ original periodical publication, where known.

Dracula’s Guest [Kindle]

Dracula’s Guest [Epub]

Dracula’s Guest [PDF]

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Critical edition:

Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, edited by Kate Hebblethwaite (Penguin, 2006)

Biography:

Lisa Hopkins, Bram Stoker: A Literary Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Critical studies (selected):

Carol A. Senf, Bram Stoker (Gothic Texts: Critical Revisions (University of Wales Press, 2010)

Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition, edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller (McFarland, 2008)

David Glover, Vampires, Mummies and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (Duke University Press, 1996)

‘The Vampyre’ by John Polidori and ‘Fragment of a Novel’ by Lord Byron

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Here are two vampire stories from the early nineteenth century. Fans of horror fiction will not need to be told about the famous ghost story contest between the giants of Romantic literature that gave rise to Polidori’s tale (just in case they do, however, Polidori’s own ‘Introduction’ provides this!)

Polidori was secretary to Lord Byron, whose unfinished ‘fragment’ of a vampire story is said to have been the inspiration for Polidori’s more famous attempt. Both tales were first published in 1819.

‘The Vampyre’ and ‘Fragment of a Novel’ [Kindle]

‘The Vampyre’ and ‘Fragment of a Novel’ [Epub]

‘The Vampyre’ and ‘Fragment of a Novel’ [PDF]

Facsimile editions of ‘The Vampyre’ and the ‘Fragment’ can be found at Google Books and the Internet Archive, respectively.

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Detail from ‘The Kiss’ by G. Baldry – suitably vampiric!

Wandering Ghosts (1903) by F. Marion Crawford

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Francis Marion Crawford was a prolific and popular author of fiction on both sides of the Atlantic at the turn of the last century, producing countless novels and short stories as well as several plays and a number of historical works about Italy. Crawford was an American citizen, but was widely travelled, having been born to an artistic American family in Italy and attending school in India. Today, he is perhaps best known for his supernatural fiction, his reputation resting largely on this collection of tales published in 1903.

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The collection contains his most-anthologised story, ‘The Upper Berth’, which can also be downloaded elsewhere on this blog, where it can be read in the context of its original publication as part of The Broken Shaft, T. Fisher Unwin’s Christmas Annual for 1885. Also in the collection is Crawford’s unsettling vampire story, ‘For the Blood is the Life’.

Wandering Ghosts [Kindle]

Wandering Ghosts [Epub]

Wandering Ghosts [PDF]

F. CRAWFORD frontispiece

Frontispiece to the first edition, illustrating a scene from ‘The Screaming Skull’

 

‘Margery of Quether’ (1891) and A Book of Ghosts (1904) by Sabine Baring-Gould

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‘Margery of Quether’ is Sabine Baring-Gould’s unusual vampire story. Published in 1891 in a collection also containing four non-supernatural tales, it tells the story of a very uncommon romance that blossoms between a young Dartmoor squire and a seventeenth-century witch who has been cursed with eternal life – but not eternal youth.

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A Book of Ghosts is also included in this ebook. Published in 1904, it collects almost all of the many ghost stories composed by Baring-Gould in the second half of the nineteenth century for the periodical press. These tales were produced as part of an immensely prolific career, encompassing not just fiction, but topography, hagiography, antiquarian research and several well-known hymns (among them ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’).

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [Kindle]

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [Epub]

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [PDF]

Critical editions:

Margery of Quether and Other Weird Tales, edited by Richard Dalby (Sarob Press, 1999) [as well as ‘Margery of Quether’, the collection also includes several very rare uncollected weird tales by Baring-Gould]

A Book of Ghosts, edited by Richard Dalby (Ash-Tree Press, 1996) [contains a comprehensive introduction, all the stories in the 1904 edition, plus an uncollected tale, ‘The Old Woman of Wesel’]

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More information on Baring-Gould and his work can be found at the website of the Sabine Baring-Gould Appreciation Society. Details on his non-fiction Book of Werewolves (1865) can be found in an earlier post on this blog, together with a link to a downloadable version of the full text. I hope to produce a future ebook for this blog containing Baring-Gould’s uncollected ghost stories. In the meantime, two of these can be accessed on Wikisource:

‘The Fireman’ (1871)

‘The Old Woman of Wesel’ (1905)

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The illustrations in this post are from the first edition of A Book of Ghosts and are by D. Murray Smith. For details of which particular stories and scenes they illustrate, see the HTML text, available at Project Gutenberg.

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