Before there was Dracula, there was Varney the Vampyre, the most famous of the sensational penny dreadfuls issued by Victorian-era publishers. Printed anymously in serial form in 1847, these gripping tales recount the exploits of a deathless creature with an insatiable appetite for blood. A succession of exciting episodes chronicle the horrible fates of Varney's victims as well as the terrifying experiences of the band of comrades sworn to destroy the vampire. Varney the Vampyre t only thrilled countless eager readers but also established many of the conventions and ideas associated with vampirism.Scarcely any copies of the original edition survive, yet this legendary feast of blood continues to captivate readers with its inexplicable deaths, impossible escapes, revivifications, and graveyard rituals. This volume is the second of a two-book set, both of which feature many atmospheric woodcut illustrations.
The authorship of the Varney books is a bit of a mystery. Thomas Peckett Prest was known as the king of the bloods, although many scholars attribute the stories to James Malcolm Rymer, an equally famous writer of penny dreadfuls.