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Popular Culture / Literature & Criticism


The Vampire in Nineteenth-Century
English Literature
Carol A. Senf

Popular Press

For centuries, the vampire and similar bloodsucking figures have stalked the folklore of many cultures. In nineteenth-century England, the vampire became an obsession in popular and literary culture as well, attracting the interest of such serious artists and thinkers as Charlotte and Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels, among others. Writers who did not believe in the existence of vampires nonetheless saw metaphoric possibilities in a creature from the past that exerted pressure on the present, often exhibiting a threatening sexuality.

In The Vampire in Nineteenth-Century English Literature, Carol A. Senf traces the vampire’s evolution from folklore to twentieth-century popular culture, paying particular attention to nineteenth-century writers and their conscious manipulation of the vampire’s metaphoric possibilities. In examining this literature and the cultures that produced it, Senf considers in detail why the vampire became such an important metaphor in Victorian England.

“Senf’s analysis of vampire figures and metaphors is exhaustive. She achieves new insights concerning social and feminist issues in genre fiction like ‘Carmilla’ and Dracula and new interpretations of major nineteenth-century novels.”—Modern Fiction Studies

Carol A. Senf is professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. Her books include Science and Social Science in Bram Stoker’s Fiction and Dracula: Between Tradition and Modernism, which won the Lord Ruthven Assembly award for best nonfiction.

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Book's cover is black with red text.  There is an illustration of a vampire's face.

LC: 87-073508 PR
212 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-87972-425-2
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Updated January 10, 2013

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