Introductyon, or What have I let myself in for?
Welcome, connoisseurs of horror! In this liveblog we'll be looking at the notorious (and huge) penny dreadful serial novel, Varney the Vampire
. (aka Varney the Vampyre, even the original text isn't consistent in the spelling.)
Written mostly by James Malcolm Rymer (who also gave us Sweeney Todd
), Varney was the first full-fledged vampire novel, starting its serialization in 1845 and being published in book form in 1847, with a reprint in 1853. It is the source of many popular vampire tropes, such as fangs to draw the blood of their victims. We'll be witness to many exciting moments and strange tales; on the other hand we'll also be seeing huge plot holes, characterization that swerves on a halfpence and some of the most lurid Purple Prose
ever reprinted. Which means it will be great liveblogging material, I hope.
I'll be using the Curt Herr edition, which features the 1847 version with copious footnotes. It's pricey though, so you might want to download a free version from Project Gutenburg.
Remember that comments are the lifeblood of the liveblogger, so give me plenty to feed on for the long journey ahead!