Victorian Age: Vampire Resources

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Highmoon
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Victorian Age: Vampire Resources

Postby Highmoon » Tue Oct 22, 2002 1:20 am

Hello, the intention is to use this thread to post resources useful for a Victorian Age: Vampire chronicle. Not everyone is well-versed in the Victorian era (either in general or in particular aspects), so by posting resources in this thread we can enhance the experience of everyone involved in a VA:V game.

I'll start with the list of sources written by Justin Achilli (Vampire line developer) in his Victorian Age: Vampire bible for the writers who worked in the project. I know it's in the book, but I am putting it here for completion purposes.

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From the Victorian Age: Vampire Original Outline for Writers
http://www.white-wolf.com/Games/Pages/V ... tline.html

Works for Reference
I can't imagine you needing much direction in this avenue, but here are a few of my favorite sources for the time period.

"The Vampyre" by John Polidori is probably the seminal work for this setting. Before this, vampires were bloodsukkin' monsters and with Polidori's short story, the vampire-as-a-Romantic-creature was born.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

"Carmilla" by Sheridan LeFanu

"The Vampire of Kaldenstein" by Frederick Cowles

The Picture of Dorian Gray* and Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde
(* - The last name of the title character is actually spelled with an e and not with an a as I spell it here, but everytime one writes that word with an e, the board writes dumb dribble after it, like this: grey so tell Albert the Board Admin to change that!)

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Silas Marner by George Eliot

It's set in America, but Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence is a great representation of New World interpretation of Old World custom during the Victorian era.

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (soon to be a film!). Jack the Ripper. Secret conspiracies. Freemasons. Add a vampire and this is a graphic-novel Vampire supplement.

The Unburied by Charles Palliser - This one's great because of its underplaying of the supernatural and the convoluted murder-within-a-murder-within-a-murder plot that's set in an academic quest. The "subtle" supernatural (read the book! It moves very quickly) presence reminds me very much of how Victorian Kindred would conduct themselves ("Vampires? What a quaint notion!"), while the plot is occlusive enough to give any elder an idea for hiding his schemes.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr is American in setting but and excellent work of mood and setting nonetheless.

The Waterworks by E.L. Doctorow is, again, in an American setting, but well worth the read.
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More to come. Feel free to post your own.

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Postby Highmoon » Tue Oct 22, 2002 1:26 am

Two of the stories mentioned above are public domain. Below you will find links to these stories online, where you may read them at your leisure.

"Carmilla" by Sheridan LeFanu
http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_carmil.htm - Version with Chapters.
http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/carmil01.htm - Continuous version.

"The Vampyre" by John Polidori
http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_vampyr.htm

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Other sources

Postby DocJRS » Tue Oct 22, 2002 9:41 am

Any Charles Dickens story will give you some idea of the underside of London and the UK in Victorian Times, and for later Victorian stories, try the Sherlock Holmes books for colour.
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Postby Highmoon » Tue Oct 22, 2002 12:31 pm

Even though he died before the time the VA:V book defines as the Victorian Age for purposes of the game (1880-1897), any story by Edgar Alan Poe is a magnificent resource for Gothic Victorian Americana (and other parts of the world as well). The man was amazing in tone and mood, and there is a lot to be learned about subtlety.

Remember that the Victorian Period in history lasted from Queen Victoria's accession to the throne till her death, from 1837 to 1901. The height of the Victorian Era, however, pretty much starts around 1850 and peaks during the years the Vampire setting covers, from 1880-1900.
Anything written during these years will pretty much serve as reference, though some will undoubtedly work better as a resource for Vampire than others.

Do remember, the publication of Dracula in 1897 (the end of the VA setting) is a huge deal. Even if the novel received a lukewarm reception in London (which I am not sure it did), it marks the beginning of the end for the Kindred.

Man I am loving this setting more and more by the day.

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Bram Stoker's Dracula

Postby DocJRS » Tue Oct 22, 2002 12:52 pm

In reality, Dracula was a substantial success in Victorian England.

The book itself is a mine of info on attitudes in Victorian England as well as a good story. The prevailing attitudes on sex can be seen in Jonathon Harker's revulsion and fascination during his almost embrace by the three female vampires, and there is a strong homoerotic sense to the fact that Dracula himself would be the first to embrace him, something that may be from Stoker.

John.
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