The Irish Vampire

From Folklore to the Imaginations of Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker


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About the Book

The origins of the vampire can be traced through oral traditions, ancient texts and archaeological discoveries, its nature varying from one culture to the next up until the 20th century. Three 19th century Irish writers—Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker—used the obscure vampire of folklore in their fiction and developed a universally recognizable figure, culminating in Stoker’s Dracula and the vampire of today’s popular culture. Maturin, Le Fanu and Stoker did not set out to transform the vampire of regional folk tales into a global phenomenon. Their personal lives, national concerns and extensive reading were reflected in their writing, striking a chord with readers and recasting the vampire as distinctly Irish. This study traces the genealogy of the modern literary vampire from European mythology through the Irish literature of the 1800s.

About the Author(s)

Sharon M. Gallagher is an instructor of English at Penn State University’s Behrend campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she teaches a variety of writing courses as well as mythology, science fiction and occult literature.

Bibliographic Details

Sharon M. Gallagher

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6580-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2796-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. “The facts of vampirism are as old as the world”:
The Etymology, Folklore and History of the Vampire 7
2. Gothic and Irish Literature: “The uncreated conscience of my race” 28
3. Charles Robert Maturin: Stirring the Imagination of an Irish Vampire 45
4. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Refining the Irish Vampire 87
5. Bram Stoker: The Realization of the Irish Vampire 120
6. The Irish Vampire: National, Literary, Personal and
Global Identity 170
Chapter Notes 179
Bibliography 199
Index 209