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Before Bram: a timeline of vampire literature

There were many books on vampires before Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Early anthropologists wrote accounts of the folkloric vampire — a stumbling, bloated peasant, never venturing far from home, and easily neutralized with a sexton’s spade and a box of matches. The literary vampire became a highly mobile, svelte aristocratic rake with the appearance of the short tale The Vampyre in 1819. However the body of literature surrounding the vampire myth was as broad and varied as European culture at the time. Below is a timeline of the vampire stories that preceded – and inevitably influenced – Bram Stoker’s classic tale. This is a timeline of the vampire stories that preceded – and inevitably influenced – Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


Image: Cemetery, CC0 via Pixabay.

Recent Comments

  1. Anthony Hogg

    Hi Roger,

    A few points:

    – “London Journal of 11 March reports on the inquiries into ‘vampyres’ at Madreyga in Hungary …” Not Hungary; Serbia.

    – Despite popular attribution, “Wake Not the Dead” was not written by Tieck, but by Ernst Benjamin Salomo Raupach.

    – I take it January was the default month for your yearly posts; Gerard’s article was published in the July 1885 issue of “The Nineteenth Century.”

    – Considering the vampire-changing-into-a-bat motif was invented by Stoker and published a year later, I would say “The Haunted Castle” as the first vampire film is a helluva stretch.

  2. […] Oxford University Press traced the history of vampire literature from the early 1700’s, before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with an interactive timeline. […]

  3. Kevin Dodd

    For about two years now I have tried to find proof that Nisbet’s The Vampire Maiden was published in 1890. It appears to be a fiction from Otto Penzler’s The Vampire Archive. Do you have any evidence? If it was published before Dracula it is an important contribution to vampire literature in that the girl turns into a bat. If not, it’s fun but this aspect, at least, is derivative.

  4. […] useful information from Roger Luckhurst on the origins of the vampire. This timeline illustrates the ethnographic and literary precursors of Stoker’s […]

  5. […] Luckhurst, Roger. “Before Bram: A Timeline of Vampire Literature.” OUPBLOG.             https://blog.oup.com/2015/04/timeline-vampire-literature-pre-dracula/ […]

  6. Délio Pereira Lopes

    Despite some quantity literature about vampires was written before Bram Stoker his capacity to describe this kind of creature deserves great respect.
    It is no surprise that Stoker was a great champion of reading and critical thinking, which his novels (particulary: the character called Count Dracula) had inspired too many other authors in any past society and the modern ones. This was true in the past days and nowadays that million starving readers all over the world wait for pages filled with horror history (that’s my case). Fear manifestation occurs in diferente ways in the world. Moreover any culture accepts the incredible things with plausive explanation. People sometimes are divided about some certain segments of the knowledge but in the fear time almost everybody shares the same panic feelings.

  7. Andréa F. Griffo

    I agree with Délio’s comments, mainly in the Stoker’s performance to write supernatural plots.

  8. Denise M. Baran-Unland

    Stoker’s “Dracula” is a masterpiece, but it sometime overshadows other great reads. For instance, “Wake Not the Dead” is satisfyingly creepy.

  9. […] authorities are Before Bram: a Timeline of Vampire Literature | OUPblog going to want to draw businesses working on DLT to offer Government for an Agency (GaaS), […]

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