Revisiting the Vampire Classics

Dracula for Universal Studio's Dracula for 1931.
Dracula, Universal Studios 1931

It’s been over a decade since I read Dracula, and the pandemic lockdowns seemed like a good time to revisit a classic (or several because rereading books is comforting to me). I enjoyed my favorite scenes, bemoaned some of the over-the-top descriptions of how good a person is, and fantasized over the classic vampire tropes.

As I finished the book, I thought, “I understand why the first vampire novel was so popular.”

Then I remembered that Dracula isn’t the first vampire novel, and I felt a little silly. I also realized I haven’t read the preceding vampire stories, and I felt extra silly.

I love vampire stories. All of them. Well, most of them. There are some teen vampire romances that I disagreed with. I prefer adults having romantic flings with immortals.

If I love vampire stories so much, why haven’t I read the original ones?

So I’m solving the problem. I downloaded The Vampyre by Dr. John Polidori, Varney the Vampire by Prest and Rymer, and Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu from Project Gutenberg. I’m going to read the original vampire stories that led to Dracula and relive the classics. Then I’m going to rewatch all the Dracula movies in order.

I can’t be a true vampire without knowing my roots.

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