Saturday, April 12, 2014

First Vampire Story Set in France - Pepopukin in Corsica

Arthur Young (1741-1820)

What was the first vampire short story with a setting in France? In the English language it appears to be "Pepopukin in Corsica," published in 1826. It was in a British rag called The Stanley Tales. The author was only attributed to A.Y. and in The Best Vampire Stories anthology I edited, I give reasons why I think the author was Arthur Young who was an English writer that travelled extensively in France. He died in 1820, so it had to be published posthumously.

"Pepopukin in Corsica," was published for the first time in 175 years in BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Short Stories 1800-1849. It tells of scary vampires having claws and crushing bones. There is a nice review of the vampire tale over at the Taliesiin Vampire Blog.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Commentary on The Black Vampyre short story



There is a fine commentary on "The Black Vampyre" short story over at the Taliesin scary vampire blog: http://taliesinttlg.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/interesting-shorts-black-vampyre-legend.html that I included in The Best Vampire Stories anthology.

I liked it so much I left a comment. Check it out.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Who Was the First Englishman to Write a Vampire Short Story?



The first Englishman to write a vampire story was John Polidori. He was a physician and traveled with Lord Byron as his personal doctor. He was with Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley when they made their famous dare about who could write a supernatural story. Mary, of course, would go on to write Frankenstein and Percy had nightmares about his tale, as recounted in BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Short Stories 1800-1849. Lord Byron started a fragment that he never finished. Polidori wrote "The Vampyre" in 1819 and in it he included Lord Byron as the evil vampire Lord Ruthven after a bad falling out with Lord Byron. Polidori's story became one of the best vampire stories for the fist half of the 19th century. Now that is scary.

Friday, December 13, 2013

What was the First Vampire Story Set in Venice?


It is common for the setting of modern vampire stories and movies to be placed in the haunting city of Venice, Italy. With its Gothic palaces and watery landscape, Venice is perfect for those who wake at night and seek their prey. In 1836, however, only a handful of vampire stories had ever been written. That's when the popular French author Theophile Gautier wrote "Clarimonde" and published it in the French magazine La Morte Amoureuse. The tale is undeniable as one of the first vampire short stories and it was included in BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Who was the first American to write a vampire story?


There has been much discussion about John Polidori, the young Italian doctor that travelled with Lord Byron and who wrote the first vampire short story in the English language. Polidori titled it "The Vampyre" and the story was published in 1819.

But who was the first American to write a vampire short story? That honor belongs to Robert Charles Sands, a lawyer and poet. His scary vampire story was titled "The Black Vampyre: A Legend of Saint Domingo" and it was published only a few months after Polidori's vampire story in 1819. "The Black Vampyre" is difficult to find. I spent time at UC San Diego spooling through microfiche and then copying the individual pages, which then had to be scanned into a computer. I included it in the award-winning BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849, along with a lengthy introduction about Sands and the interesting bond that joins these earliest vampire stories in the English language.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Vampire Anthology is a Finalist in the International Book Awards Anthology Category



BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849, has been selected as a finalist award-winner in the anthology category of the International Book Awards. Pretty cool. So what's in the book?

The collection unleashes the greatest early vampire tales in the English language. Unearthed from long forgotten journals and magazines, I uncovered the very best vampire short stories from the first half of the 19th century. They are collected for the first time in this groundbreaking book on the origins of vampire lore.

The cradle of all vampire short stories in the English language is the first half of the 19th century. I combed forgotten journals and mysterious texts to collect the very best vintage vampire stories from this crucial period in vampire literature. In doing so, I unearthed the second and third vampire stories originally published in the English language, neither printed since their first publication nearly 200 years ago. Also included is the first vampire story originally written in English by John Polidori after a dare with Lord Byron and Mary Shelley. The book contains the first vampire story by an American who was a graduate of Columbia Law School. The book further includes the first vampire stories by an Englishman and German, including the only vampire stories by such renowned authors as Alexander Dumas, Théophile Gautier and Joseph le Fanu.

I added my scholarly touch to this collection by including story backgrounds, annotations (physical book), author photos and a foreword titled "With Teeth." The ground-breaking stories are:

1819 The Vampyre - John Polidori (1795-1821)
1823 Wake Not the Dead - Ernst Raupach (1784-1852)
1848 The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains - Alexander Dumas (1802-1870)
1839 Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter - Joseph le Fanu (1814-1873)
1826 Pepopukin in Corsica - Arthur Young (1741-1820)
1819 The Black Vampyre: A Legend of Saint Domingo - Robert C. Sands (1799-1832)
1836 Clarimonde - Théophile Gautier (1811-1872)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why I Transcribed a New English Translation of the Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains (aka, The Pale Lady) by Alexander Dumas



In 1848 Alexander Dumas published "The Vampire of Carpathian Mountains" (also called "The Pale Lady") in his French short story collection One Thousand and One Ghosts. It is a fantastic book that contains some of the best supernatural tales Dumas ever penned. And if you have at least a reading knowledge of the French language, it is well worth the effort of flagging it down on Gutenberg.org or some other site.

Of course if your French needs a bit of a refresher from high school, it becomes a more difficult task. This is especially true of what I believe to be its signature horror tale: "The Vampire of Carpathian Mountains". When I published The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849 in 2011, I included an 1848 translation from the London New Monthly Magazine. It was the rag, after all, that printed John Polidori's "The Vampyre" in 1819, which is also contained in my collection and is considered the first vampire short story to originate in the English language. So I figured the New Monthly Magazine knew a thing or two about vampire stories and would give the English translation the attention it rightly deserved.

Only after I published the classic vampire anthology did I realize I was wrong. It was brought to my attention that the original French version by Dumas included a poem that was nowhere to be found in English translation by theNew Monthly Magazine. Not only that, but the ending seemed rushed. I turned paler than a person under the throes of vampirism. I had done what is a no-no for one of my collections--I had published an abridged version of a classic short story and fallen victim the horrible magazine practice of trying to save space on the printed page.

With the aid of a translator in Montreal and a little help from online translators, I went to work. A month later I had in front of me an English translation of the "Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains" in a form that is much closer to what Dumas originally intended. I immediately updated the ebook versions of the collections and they are live now with the non-abridged story. I hope you enjoy it and forgive my faux pas