Vintage Vampire Stories, edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Richard Dalby
Rare vampire tales from the 19th and early 20th centuries collected for the first time in one volume. Long lost to the public in the pages of defunct newspapers, out-of-print magazines, and dusty Victorian anthologies, the stories of this book have been resurrected for the enjoyment of new generations of vampire lovers. Two of the world's leading vampire experts compiled this rare collection of macabre tales that were originally published from 1679 to 1909. Including images of Bram Stoker's hand-written notes for Dracula ("Count Vampire"), this collection will delight any lover of dark fantasy.
Introduction Pu Songling, The Blood-Drinking Corpse (1679) William H.G. Kingston, The Vampire; or, Pedro Pacheco and the Bruxa (1863) Mary Fortune, The White Maniac: A Doctor's Tale (1867) G.J. Whyte-Melville, Madame de St Croix (1869) Sabine Baring-Gould, Margery of Quether (1884) Bram Stoker, Count Wampyr (1890) Julian Osgood Field, A Kiss of Judas Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Herself (1894) Prof. P. Jones, The Priest and His Cook (1895) Dick Donovan, The Woman with the Oily Eyes (1899) Dick Donovan, The Story of Annette (From Official Records): Being the Sequel to 'The Woman with the Oily Eyes' (1899) Hugh McCrae, The Vampire (1901) Phil Robinson, Medusa (1902) R. Murray Gilchrist, The Lover's Ordeal (1905) Lionel Sparrow, The Vengeance of the Dead (1907) Morley Roberts, The Blood Fetish (1909) Appendix: Charles Dickens jr, Vampyres and Ghouls (1871)
I don't think that I have heard of more than a couple of the stories listed, so this collection, co-edited by one of my favourite anthologists, interests me quite a bit. It sounds as if it would make a nice companion to Mr. Dalby's other vampire anthologies, such as Dracula's Brood and Vampire Stories.
Just snagged a copy of this and it looks impressive. If I am not very much mistaken, the commentary is all Robert Eighteen Bisang's work? Despite one of his amusing trademark rants versus beastly malcontents, Baring-Gould's Margery of Quether utterly defeated me when I attempted reading it from the screen, so maybe more luck with the hard copy. Good to see friend James credited with exhuming Lionel Sparrow's story from some cobwebbed Aussie crypt - I'm sure Mr. Diog deserves recognition for Mary Fortune's smashing The Maniac Doctor, too. Wonder what became of the Erckmann-Chatrian contribution?
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Phil Robinson--Medusa: I enjoyed Robinson's 'The Man-Eating Tree' from Richard Dalby's 'Dracula's Brood', so was looking forward to this one. A mysterious veiled woman is shown into the office of the narrator's employer. After she leaves, the narrator finds him dead in his chair, the victim of a heart condition according to the doctor. A little later the woman re-appears asking to see the man again. When she is told by the narrator that his employer died earlier she asks him to keep her name out of the affair, which he does. After that, he becomes fascinated and obsessed by the woman and spends increasing time with her, and contemplates marriage. One day while alone in his office on a dark, winter's day, he is visited by a crippled man who warns him about the woman and the string of deaths associated with her and his own close escape from her clutches... Well I really liked this tale of a vampire who seems to suck life itself from her victims rather than just blood. I thought this tale was nicely paced and atmospheric.
I was very curious as to what the original story is supposed to be, as the title doesn't give a hint. Fortunately, Google Books let me peek into the book, and I found that it's not even a translation! If we call that an "adaptation", then it's a very very loose one. The "translation" in question was made by one French diplomat, George Soulié de Morant (1878-1955), and published as one of the stories in Strange Stories from the Lodge of Leisures (Constable, 1913).
The thing is, the original story doesn't have any vampire! In the original, the somehow (no explanation is offered as to why) animated corpse, who is the recently-deceased daughter-in-law of an innkeeper, kills three travelers in the inn just by blowing on their faces, before pursuing a fourth one outdoors for a good while and dying again due to exhaustion (not an enviable job, to give chase when you're already dead!). She doesn't get to drink anything, blood or otherwise!
An actual translation (by Herbert Giles), which is a very good one, can be read here (as "CVI. THE RESUSCITATED CORPSE").