->''"The figure turns half round, and the light falls upon its face. It is perfectly white -- perfectly bloodless. The eyes look like polished tin; the lips are drawn back, and the principal feature next to those dreadful eyes is the teeth -- the fearful looking teeth"''
-->-- From Chapter I

''[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Varney the Vampire]], or, The Feast of Blood'' by James Malcolm Rymer[[note]]published anonymously and attributed by some scholars to Thomas Preskett Prest[[/note]] was one of the original vampire penny dreadfuls (c. 1845-47).

It's a [[VampiresAreSexGods bodice-ripper]] with [[DoorStopper 220 chapters]][[note]]nearly 667,000 words (longer than ''Literature/WarAndPeace''!)[[/note]] of riveting Victorian GothicHorror and one hell of an ending!

''Varney'' was an enormous influence on [[VampireFiction later vampire literature]], such as ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' (1897) by Bram Stoker. Many of today's standard vampire tropes originated with Varney: Varney has fangs, [[VampireBitesSuck leaves two puncture wounds on the necks of his victims]], has hypnotic powers, and has superhuman strength. Unlike later fictional vampires, [[DaywalkingVampire he is able to go about in daylight]] and has no particular fear or loathing of crosses or garlic. He can eat and drink in human fashion as a form of disguise, but he points out that human food and drink do not agree with him. His vampirism seems to be a fit that comes on him when his vital energy begins to run low; he is [[{{Everyman}} a regular person]] between feedings.

Varney is also the first example of the "sympathetic vampire," a vampire who hates his night job but is a slave to it nevertheless -- a theme which has become popular in modern vampire fiction. Varney's conflict eventually leads him to drastic action.

The entire text of ''Varney the Vampire'' is available [[http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/PreVarn.html for free online]].
!!Provides examples of:

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: How Mrs. Bannerworth happened to choose ne'er-do-well Mr. Bannerworth as a husband.
* BreakingAndBloodsucking: In the first chapter, Varney breaks into Flora Bannerworth's bedroom. She sees him coming but is paralyzed with fear. He returns another night, but she shoots him.
* BurnTheWitch: The local villagers attempt to do this to Varney.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: At the beginning of the novel, the Bannerworth family has three children -- Henry, Flora, and George -- but George is never mentioned again after Chapter 36.
* DaywalkingVampire: Sunlight has no apparent negative impact on Varney.
* DoorStopper: The complete printed text runs on (and on and on) for some 868 double-column pages.
* DuelToTheDeath: Discussed at great length. Varney is on the receiving end of multiple challenges, which he finds quite amusing.
* EitherOrTitle
* ExpositionOfImmortality: Very early on, the Bannerworths realise that Varney resembles the ancestral portrait of Marmaduke (aka Sir Runnagate) Bannerworth, who died in 1640.
* FalseFriend: [[spoiler: Marchdale]], who is really working with Varney. Lampshaded in the title of one of the chapters.
* FangsAreEvil: Varney was the first fictional vampire to have fangs.
* HisNameIs: As applied to money matters. The late Mr Bannerworth, who lost much of the family's wealth to gambling debts, finally figures out how to recoup his family's losses just before he dies. He tries to write down the instructions for his children. Unfortunately he only gets as far as: "The money isó" before dying on the spot.
* IDoNotDrinkWine: The fact that Varney doesn't drink wine provides a clue early on that he is a vampire.
* InsaneAdmiral: Admiral Bell, while protective of his family and a generally decent guy, acts like a complete lunatic in most situations.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Marchdale]] dies in the dungeon where he planned to leave [[spoiler: Charles Holland]] to starve to death. However, the villain's death is considerably faster, since he's [[spoiler: buried under a heap of falling rubble]].
* KillItWithFire: Necessary to destroy a vampire.
* LesbianVampire: Clara Crofton predates even Literature/{{Carmilla}} as a female vampire who prefers female victims.
* LockedInTheDungeon: [[spoiler: Charles Holland]] is imprisoned in a secret dungeon for quite some time. Later, [[spoiler: Marchdale]], who is trying to murder him, winds up there instead.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The rules of vampirism are quite different both from legend and modern vampire fiction. In particular, the idea that vampires can be healed by moonlight is almost never used in later works.
* PhantasySpelling: "Vampire" is sometimes spelled "vampyre." Justified, as the word was a neologism to English at the time, and had no established spelling or pronunciation.
* PublicDomainCharacter: Varney, while not as popular as Dracula, has seen somewhat of a renaissance recently, appearing in several webcomics including Varney the Vampire by Scott Massino and Marcio Takara, in which he is a rock star resembling Count Orlok from Nosferatu; {{SideReal}} by Philip Rice; and Dracula Unconquered by Chris Sims, Steve Downer and Josh Krach.
** In the Franchise/{{Marvel Universe}}, Dracula's predecessor as Lord of the Vampires was an ancient Atlantean vampire named [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/varnae.htm Varnae]], in a tip of the hat to the story of Varney predating that of Dracula.
** Varney has also cropped up in one of Creator/SimonRGreen's stories set in the {{Literature/Nightside}}.
* SkepticismFailure: Chillingworth plays this role, both with regard to the vampire and the literal interpretation of the Bible.
* SpookyPainting: The unnerving portrait of Varney (formerly Marmaduke or Runnagate Bannerworth, depending on the installment) that hangs in Bannerworth Hall. Doubles as an ExpositionOfImmortality.
* StealthHiBye: Varney does this to the mob that breaks into his house, much to their consternation.
* SympathyForTheDevil: During the BurnTheWitch moment mentioned above. Bannerworth, Admiral Bell, and company want Varney dead, but they want him ''honorably'' dead in a duel, not killed by a mob.
* TropeMakers: It introduced most of the modern vampire concepts like hypnotic ability, super strength, puncture wounds from fang bites, and going crazy if a long time passes without feeding. Also, the concept of a reluctant vampire. Stoker was inspired quite a bit by it.
* WritersCannotDoMath: A sort of meta example: a bunch of chapters are misnumbered because the writer lost count.
* YouSexyBeast: Varney.