Setting[ edit ] The story has a confused setting. While ostensibly set in the early eighteenth century,  there are references to the Napoleonic Wars and other indicators that the story is contemporary to the time of its writing in the mid-nineteenth century. Human characters[ edit ] The plot concerns the troubles that Sir Francis Varney inflicts upon the Bannerworths, a formerly wealthy family driven to ruin by their recently deceased father. George is never mentioned after the thirty-sixth chapter. A family friend, Mr Marchdale, lives with the Bannerworths in early chapters. The story is at times inconsistent and confusing, as if the author did not know whether to make Varney a literal vampire or simply a human who acts like one.
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I think its the longest published novel Ive ever read. It was a penny dreadful, which means it came out in weekly installments, each costing a penny. There are no pretenses that this is high art - and even the authorship is debated. He can walk in the sunlight, but moonlight really makes his vampiric nature shine.
If he dies, the entirety of nature conspires to bring him into the moonlight to revive him again. The book itself is strangely down-to-earth, especially in the first part. In the first half of the novel, he has huge money issues and he does his best to get his hands on a fortune, the way a scoundrel would. Varney is a very depressed, sad, gallant figure. And, since I promised a summary The first chapter is quite cool and gothic.
Flora Bannerworth is asleep in her bed, when the dreaded vampire makes its way into her chamber and proceeds to suck her blood. She screams for help, and her two brothers, Henry and George Bannerworth, rush to her aid, along with their friend, Marchdale, who happens to be staying with them and their mother for awhile. Varney gets a different origin story by the end.
In chapters , Henry, George, Marchdale and the local doctor go off to check the coffin of the Bannerworth ancestor who resembles the vampire. A true romantic hero! In chapters , people fret. Francis Varney rrooooolll credits , a neighbor of the Bannerworths, says he wants to buy their house, which is quickly losing value since it has a vampire attached. The fact that he looks precisely like that vampire is Highly Suspicious to everyone. The vampire keeps showing up, then running off.
Sir Francis Varney is repeatedly challenged to about a million duels. In chapter 27, Charles Holland vanishes. This happens in chapter And Marchdale would be a good Disney villain. In chapters , we find out Varney owes people money. He later persuades Flora that he wants to suck her blood because he loves her - therefore, she should run far, far away.
Varney actually fights a duel, but refuses to shoot at his opponent. The phrase "interview with the vampyre" shows up in chapter In chapters , we meet the most remarkable character in the book: the mob. The Mob is truly frightening, and when it gets going, it stops at nothing. You know, being brutally murdered by The Mob is too terrible a fate even for a vampire.
He was so useless I even forgot he existed before checking wiki. A century before the movie! He wants to meet Varney, but The Mob catches him and shoots him. In chapters , Varney manages to get his hands on the treasure in Bannerworth house! It turns out he used to be gambling buddies with the father of the Bannerworths.
After he and daddy dearest lost a fortune, they killed the guy who won it from them, stole it, then the elder Bannerworth hid it in a portrait and killed himself. He hid the money and offed himself. In chapters , the Bannerworths become less important.
Flora Bannerworth and Charles Holland get married. The admiral Bell has a bit of comic relief with a quaker. The daughter has another sweetheart, but who cares?
Definitely not Varney and the mother. The Hungarian nobleman vampire comes to visit and ask for money, and Varney tries to kill him - to no avail, because the guy escapes on a boat on the sea.
However, admiral Bell shows up at the wedding and interrupts it, unmasking the vampire and causing him to flee again. Varney also tries to feed off of another girl, unsuccessfully, because she screams and wakes up the whole house - like all of his victims, really. In chapters , Varney encounters a group of travelers and gives them a hand on the road, supposedly saving two women from a tragic fate. Specifically, sucks her blood? When her family pressures her into marrying the nice vampire, admiral Bell shows up at the wedding, interrupting it and prompting him to flee.
In chapters , Varney goes to Naples - probably in an attempt to get away from admiral Bell and his tendency to show up long after his story arc is done. In chapters , Varney is in a shipwreck and is the only one who makes it alive to the shore or rather, he was dead, but he got revived by moonlight.
Varney sucks her blood a bit, but all ends well - she remains alive, the plot against her is discovered and she marries her sweetheart. There are also two chapters in which Varney gets summoned to help raise another vampire - apparently, vampires rise if they committed a terrible crime, or if someone turns them. At this point, the author was like, "oh, yeah, world building, that thing I was supposed to do chapters ago - well, better late than never".
But most importantly, this is when Varney learns how to place his hand over the mouth of a victim to stop her from screaming! You go, Varney! Learn useful skills! In chapters , Varney is kind of sick of life. Unfortunately, whenever he dies, something happens to bring him under the moonlight and revive him.
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