Vampires: The dark fantasy of the 18th and 19 th centuries

Karen Oldham Hammer, Fayetteville State University


Immortality and erotica are the two characteristics responsible for the continuing intrigue and popularity of the "undead." The vampire made its literary debut in the "Graveyard" poetry of the eighteenth century, and this fascinating creature had infiltrated short fiction by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Realizing the vampire's versatility, writers, by the middle of the nineteenth century, began to feature the "undead" in novels, and, although the vampire proved a useful tool in the exploration of a variety of issues, emphasis and intrigue continued to focus on the vampire's non-Christian immortality and "sinful" eroticism. Examining a variety of vampire works, this thesis begins with the "Graveyard" poetry of the eighteenth century and concludes with an indepth look at the final vampire novel of the nineteenth century—Bram Stoker's Dracula—a novel that has not been out of print since first published in 1897.

Subject Area

Literature|British and Irish literature

Recommended Citation

Hammer, Karen Oldham, "Vampires: The dark fantasy of the 18th and 19 th centuries" (2005). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1449350.