THE BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1897. Octavo, pp. [1-4] 1-345 [346-348: ads], publisher's pictorial reddish brown cloth, front panel stamped in gold and blind, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. The alleged vampire is 21-year-old Harriet Brandt. The 'blood' of the title is metonomous for 'heredity,' and refers to the rumor that Harriet’s grandmother, a Jamaican slave, was bitten by a vampire bat while pregnant with Harriet’s mother. Thus, the novel takes on as its central theme the power of heredity versus that of later nurturing and free will. It poses the question: is Harriet, despite her many charms and good intentions, tainted irredeemably with the blood of the vampire? She inherits bad blood also from her father, an Englishman who had been kicked out of medical school in Switzerland for unauthorized and deadly experiments in vivisection. He moved to Jamaica, a wealthy and unscrupulous man, and continued his experiments on animals - and on the slaves, as well. He impregnated, but did not marry, a sadistic and gluttonous half-caste who practiced obeah, according to the slaves. Harriet does indeed seem to be a psychic vampire, though against her own will. People who get close to her die, including children and her husband, and she eventually commits suicide in despair. A sophisticated variation on traditional vampire motifs, which found expression that same year, more famously, in DRACULA." Bleiler (1978), p. 133. Reginald 09684. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 351. Some fading to spine and edges of front and rear covers, a very good copy. A very nice copy of a very scarce book. In custom red cloth clamshell box with leather spine label. (#154918).
No statement of printing.