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Distributed for Universitas Press

The Vampyre and Other British Stories of the Romantic Era

Second Edition, Revised, Enlarged, Second Edition

A collection of the best British short fiction published from 1800 to 1832.

The Vampyre and Other British Stories includes the best short fiction published in Britain during the first decades of the nineteenth century. The period, associated with the “rise of the tale,” saw every year the arrival of new periodicals dedicated, entirely or partially, to the publication of short stories. Many authors, in all corners of the kingdom, also regularly published their own short-story collections, often in a series of volumes.

The period between 1800 and 1832, from which the stories in this volume have been selected, is associated with the great English Romantic poets, as well as with their aesthetic creeds, their predilection for leaps of fantasy, larger-than-life characters, and uncanny situations. This is also one of the two important trends in the production of short stories at the time. Authors like Joseph William Polidori, John Galt, William Harrison Ainsworth, and Walter Scott (all included here) incorporated Gothic elements into their take on Romanticism: Byronic heroes become vampires and travel to Greece or become immortal and condemned to eternal peregrination; characters are buried alive or forced to face the ghost of someone who died centuries before.

Another trend in British fiction from this period is reflected in the reactions against exotic locales, remote time periods, and fantastic or outlandish plot elements. This trend, epitomized in the novels by Jane Austen, is manifest in some of the stories included in this volume, by authors such as Maria Edgeworth, Amelia Opie, Mary Russell Mitford, Anna Maria Hall, and Anna Brownell Jameson.

400 pages | 6 x 9

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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