Up a dark alley 1753 – 1857, The quiet years – Historical Timeline

By

Tim

(a.k.a. T.H. Hawkmoor)

 Introduction

This work is an essay/article for history buffs and for that, again, I make no apology, in fact it’s aimed at vampire history buffs in particular and, more widely, anyone who has an interest in the “modernity” of the aesthetic of the vampire. I offer to take you on a trip that will be at once both familiar and unknown. I don’t proclaim this to be “scientific”, I don’t proclaim it to be anything other than a fact, information gathering and data presentation thing but the one thing I have believed for my whole life, since as early as I could form a rational and inquisitive focus is that the whole of humankind, and yes I’m including us, has lost something vital and important; some piece of knowledge, some sort of key that opens the lock to “much more than is dreamed of in our philosophies”, our Vampire philosophies and the search for that key is as important and as integral to who and what we are and where we came from, how we came to be, as any of the accumulated information we currently have. Of course, finding a key is only the first part of the dilemma, the real cruncher comes in trying to find the lock it opens.

Imagine you’re in a strange town, my town and I am your guide.

abstract.desktopnexus.com

abstract.desktopnexus.com

This article series is, as I mentioned in the preface to “Up a dark alley 1858 to 1963”, not going to be arguing any of the myriad points of the “why and wherefore” that have been dissected, stitched together, re-dissected, had the internal organs scrutinized before being re-sewn back together… you get my point I hope? No, this article series is to educate on some of the lesser known “lights” in the proverbial darkness.

Seriously, as an old high school history master of mine once remarked, “Open your eyes, history is rich and exciting and intoxicating and she makes a wild mistress.”   (c.a. 1974)

Using that as a starting point the most sensible first step is to review the historical events of the time period we are considering.

History Snapshot: (Vampcentric naturally) 1753 – 1857 – The quiet years

1755

Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary is first published and The Great earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal kills over 60,000 people.

1756

France loses its North American colonies.

1757

Sees the beginning of the British Empire in India.

1759

Voltaire’s Candide and Haydn’s Symphony No. 1 are completed.

1762

Catherine II (“the Great”) becomes czarina of Russia.

1765

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt

James Watt invents the steam engine.

1769

Sir William Arkwright patents a spinning machine

1772

Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discover nitrogen.

The Partitioning of Poland begins. (in 1772, 1793, and 1795, Austria, Prussia, and Russia divide the land and people of Poland between themselves effectively ending its independence.)

1773

In the U.S. the Boston Tea Party takes place.

1774

In the U.S., the First Continental Congress drafts the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.”

1775

The American Revolution begins with battles of Lexington and Concord.

Priestley discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.

1776

The U.S. Declaration of Independence is released.

1778

Capt. James Cook discovers Hawaii.

1781

Immanuel Kant’s, “Critique of Pure Reason is published.

1783

Beethoven’s first printed works are published.

1784

Crimea is annexed by Russia.

1787

The Constitution of the United States is signed.

1788

Pierre Simon marquis de Laplace

Pierre Simon marquis de Laplace

Pierre Laplace’s work entitled, “Laws of the Planetary System”, is released.

1789

The French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille.

In the U.S. George Washington is elected President.

1790

Aloisio Galvani experiments on electrical stimulation of the muscles.

Lavoisier formulates the Table of 31 chemical elements.

1791

The U.S. Bill of Rights is ratified.

1792

Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Woman” is published.

200px-Vindication1b

    Title page from the first American edition of Rights of Woman

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are executed in France.

Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.

1796

A French general named Napoléon Bonaparte defeats the Austrian Army.

Edward Jenner introduces the smallpox vaccination.

1797

The first mention of vampires in English literature appears in Robert Southey’s monumental oriental epic poem “Thalaba the Destroyer“.

A German poem exploring the subject of the interactions between the living and the dead is published, it contains a prominent vampiric element, and was entitled “The Bride of Corinth” (by Goethe), it tells the tale of a young woman who returns from the grave to seek her betrothed

Excerpt (translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring)

From my grave to wander I am forc’d

Still to seek The God’s long-sever’d link,

Still to love the bridegroom I have lost,

And the life-blood of his heart to drink;

When his race is run,

 I must hasten on,

And the young must ‘neath my vengeance sink.”

1798

Napoleon extends French conquests to Rome and Egypt.

1799

The Rosetta Stone is discovered in Egypt.

1800

The tale “Wake Not the Dead” (aka The Bride of the Grave) is published and although it is attributed to Johann Ludwig Tieck, it may actually have been by Ernst Raupach. The tale was translated into English in 1823.

Napoleon conquers Italy and firmly establishes himself as First Consul in France. D.C.

Robert Owen’s social reforms are established in England.

Alessandro Volta produces electricity.

1801

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is established with one monarch and one parliament however, Catholics are excluded from voting.

1804

Napoleon transforms the Consulate of France into an empire, proclaims himself emperor of France, systematises French law under Code Napoleon.

The Lewis and Clark expedition begins exploration of what is now northwest U.S.

1805

Lord Nelson defeats the French-Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon is victorious over Austrian and Russian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz.

1807

Robert Fulton makes first successful steamboat trip on Clermont between New York City and Albany.

1808

In the U.S., Congress bars importation of slaves.

Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies are performed for the first time.

1810

Common vampire bat

Common vampire bat

The common vampire bat was first classified as Phyllostoma rotundum by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Reports of sheep being killed, by having their jugular veins cut and their blood drained, circulate throughout northern England.

1812

Napoleon’s Grand Army invades Russia in June. Forced to retreat in winter, most of Napoleon’s 600,000 men are lost.

1813

The poem “The Giaour” , is published. In this poem, it is held, that Byron demonstrated his familiarity with the Greek vampiric being the Vrykolakas.

Excerpt from, “The Giaour“…

But first, on earth as vampire sent,

Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:

Then ghastly haunt thy native place,

And suck the blood of all thy race;

 

There from thy daughter, sister, wife,

At midnight drain the stream of life;

Yet loathe the banquet which perforce

Must feed thy livid living corpse:

 

Thy victims ere they yet expire

Shall know the demon for their sire,

As cursing thee, thou cursing them,

Thy flowers are withered on the stem.”

1814

The French are defeated by allies (Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Portugal) in War of Liberation. Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba, off the Italian coast.

George Stephenson builds first practical steam locomotive.

1815

Napoleon returns from exile and the “Hundred Days” conflict begins. Napoleon is defeated by Wellington at Waterloo.

1819

https://sites.dartmouth.edu/library/tag/rare-books/

https://sites.dartmouth.edu/library/tag/rare-books/

Generally regarded as being a pivotal point in the genre of Vampire fiction, Dr. John Polidori’s “The Vampyre: A tale“, is published. It is widely held that Byron’s own wild life became the model for Polidori’s undead protagonist.

Vampirismus“; a section in “Die Erzählungen der Serapionsbrüder” by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann.

Simón Bolívar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses its hold on the South American countries.

1820

An unauthorized sequel to Polidori’s tale by Cyprien Bérard is published called “Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires“. The work is often erroneously attributed to Charles Nodier. Nodier himself adapted “The Vampyre” into the first vampire stage melodrama, “Le Vampire“. Unlike Polidori’s original story, however, Nodier’s play was set in Scotland

1821

Smarra, ou les Demons de la Nuit” (“Smarra, or Night of the Demons“) by Charles Nodier. (French Lit.)

1822

Greece proclaims itself a republic and seeks independence from Turkey. Turks invade Greece. War ends and Brazil becomes independent of Portugal.

Schubert’s Eighth Symphony (“The Unfinished”) is played.

1823

Hans of Iceland” by Victor Hugo is published.

1824

Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring its independence from Spain. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is played.

1825

La Vampire Ou La Vierge De Hongrie” (“The Vampire or The Hungarian Virgin“) by Étienne-Léon de Lamothe-Langon is published and though this is the commonly accepted date of release it may actually not have appeared until 1828.

The first passenger-carrying railroad in England begins operation.

1826

Der Vampyre und seine Braut” (The Vampire and his Bride) by Spindler is published.

Joseph-Nicéphore Niepce takes the world’s first photograph.

1827

La Guzla, ou Choix de Poesies Illyriques” by Prosper Merimee is, allegedly, an authentic collection of folklore but some reports have it that they are, in the majority, works of fiction by Merimee.

Der Vampyr” by Friederike Ellmenreich appears.

1828

Regarded as a seminal point in vampire literature, Elizabeth Caroline Grey’s, “The Skeleton Count“, or “The Vampire Mistress” is published. It is widely believed to be the first vampire story published by a woman.

The story of this volume is that is actually a forgery supposedly published in the (fabricated) weekly paper “The Casket” in 1828, but “discovered” by Peter Haining before 1995. Continuing the fake pedigree, “It was later published in the US under the title “Lena Cameron; Or, The Four Sisters” (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Bros., [ca. 1850]), and in the 1995 collection “The Vampire Omnibus” REF: LINK

Der Vampyre, oder die Totenbraut” (The Vampyre and the Dead Bride) by Theodor Hildebrand.

Russia declares war on Turkey over Greece. Greece is also aided by France and Britain.

1829

With the war of 1828-29 ending, the Turks recognize Greek independence.

1832

Henry Steel Olcott, American religious leader, author and cofounder of the Theosophist movement, is born in Orange, N.J.

1833

Slavery is abolished in the British Empire.

1834

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Engine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Engine

Charles Babbage invents the “analytical engine,” the precursor of computers.

1835

Lit. “Viy” by Nikolai Vasilevic Gogol.

1836

The Dead Lover” (aka La Morte Amoureuse; Clarimonde, or The Beautiful Vampire; The Dead Woman in Love; The Dead Leman) by Theophile Gautier is published.

The Mexican army besieges Texans in Alamo and the entire garrison is wiped out. Texas gains independence from Mexico after winning Battle of San Jacinto.

1837

victoria_2

Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain.

1838

Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ligeia” appears in “The Vampire Archives

1839

The Family of the Vourdalak” (Sem’ya Vurdalaka) by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy is published.

1840

Der tote Gast” (The Dead Guest) by Zschokke is attributed to this year, again, however, it may actually have been published as late as 1869.

Lower and Upper Canada united.

1841

The Vampire” (Upyr) by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy appears.

1842

Crawford Long uses first anesthetic (ether).

1844

Samuel F. B. Morse patents the telegraph.

1845

The Last of the Vampires” by Smyth Upton is published.

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems.

1846

Failure of the potato crop causes famine in Ireland.

1847

Influential works of “literature” include the penny dreadful “Varney the Vampire“.

Abraham “Bram” Stoker, (died 1912) is born in Dublin, Ireland – Stoker was the author of Dracula, the key work in the development of the modern literary vampyre myth.

1848

Vampyren” by Viktor Rydberg is published.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Communist Manifesto appears.

1849

Vincenzo Verzeni is born in Bettanuco, Bergamasco region. (In 1874 a court found Verzeni guilty of two murders; involving the “biting and sucking of the blood of his victims” and of the attempted murder of four more women.)

The Carpathian Mountains” (aka “The Pale Lady“) from “The Thousand and One Ghosts” (Les Mille et un Fantomes) by Alexandre Dumas & Paul Bocage is published. The original is French and translated into English for the chapter “The Thousand and One Ghosts” in The Vampire Omnibus REF: LINK

The California gold rush begins.

1851

Alexandre Dumas, père re-dramatises the Bérard version of “Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires” (1820) in a play also entitled “Le Vampire“.

1852

La Baronne Trépassée” (The Dead Baroness) by Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail is published. (It is translated in 2007 as, “The Vampire and the Devil’s Son” by Brian Stableford)

The South African Republic is established.

1853

The Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia.

1854

Nicholas I of Russia occupies the Danubian provinces of Turkey.

Baron von Haxthausen reports on the case of the Dakhanavar (Mythology; Armenia.) A vampire whom protected the hills and valleys around Mount Ararat in the Caucasians.

The case of vampirism in the Ray family of Jewett, Connecticut, is published in local newspapers.

Britain and France join Turkey in war on Russia.

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So, dear reader, why do I call these The Quiet Years?

Predominantly I am looking at the lack of “vampire activity”, the actual incidences of cases of vampirism. The only, notable, reported event being the 1810 reports of sheep being killed by having their jugular veins cut and their blood drained, that circulated around northern England and the strange tale of the Ray Family of Connecticutt of 1854. Hardly the sort of thing that proves dominant and rampant vampire activity in any great measure.

Of course everybody was mostly pre-occupied with the great and far reaching changes that were shaking the known world. The Napoleonic Wars, the American Independence struggles, the French Revolution, the Crimean War, Victoria’s accession to the English throne and, overshadowing all of this, social reforms and the birth of the Industrial Revolution.

No, the vampire’s “quiet years” were dominated by the classical literary vampire, indeed, it seems as though even the art world had moved on, in the main, from the “vampire” image as a subject. The thing most influential in keeping the vampire firmly in the public consciousness was popular literature of the time.

Go to Part 2

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