The Skeleton Count, or The Vampire Mistress

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The Skeleton Count, or The Vampire Mistress (1828) by Elizabeth Caroline Grey is alleged by anthologist Peter Haining to be the first vampire story written and published by a woman.[1] Haining claims that it was first published in the English weekly paper The Casket in 1828 (no relation to other magazines of the same name) and that a collector brought him the only known copy of the story. No other editors have included the story in collections of vampire tales, and the provenance of the tale is suspect. Haining has espoused controversial literary positions before, most recently involving the alleged historicity of the popular penny-dreadful "Sweeney Todd." [2] Grey, a prolific author of so-called "silver fork" novels for women, is an unlikely author of such a story and many stories of the type have been falsely attributed to her. [3] Until hard evidence is forthcoming, her authorship is at best unproven. It is nearly impossible to verify[clarification needed] that the piece appeared in "The Casket," a penny press paper originally published by George Cowie and William Strange (1827-1829) and revived by Cowie as "The New Casket" (1831-1833).[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Haining. The Vampire Omnibus. Orion mass market paperback (July 17, 1995). ISBN 978-1-85797-684-7
  2. ^ Oliver Duff (3 January 2006). "Sweeney Todd: fact or fiction?". The Independent. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. 
  3. ^ The Elizabeth Caroline Grey Hoax, John Adcock, Yesterday's Papers, June 24, 2010
  4. ^ Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor, ed. (2009). Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism. London: Academia Press and the British Library. p. 149. ISBN 9780712350396.