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Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood was written by James Malcolm Rymer (1814–1884), and Thomas Peckett Prest (c.1810–1859). First appearing in cheap pamphles known as penny dreadful in 1845-47, it was published in book form in 1847. Telling the gothic horror story of the vampire Sir Francis Varney, its early characterization of vampirism solidified many of the traits which would become standard in vampire fiction. In the story Varney possessed fangs which leave two puncture marks on the necks of his victims, has superhuman strength, and also hypnotic powers. Varney was cursed with vampirism in the story during the English Civil War (1642–1651), when he betrayed a Royalist to Oliver Cromwell, and afterwards in a fit of anger accidently kills his son.  During the story he is hanged and is revived by galvanism by the medical student Dr. Chillingworth, before he finally commits suicide by throwing himself in Mount Vesuvius.


Sir Francis Varney. Varney the Vampire. or, the Feast of Blood. 1845-47

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