Penny Dreadful: Edward Pettit on Varney the Vampire

Left: Front wrapper from the 1853 edition of Varney the Vampire; Right: The 2007 Zittaw Press edition

In his Book Reviews, Edward Pettit, The Philly Poe Guy, tells us, “Years ago I discovered Varney the Vampire, or the Feast of Blood, a penny dreadful from the Victorian age, the first full-length vampire novel in English (I’ve never discovered whether there were any vampire novels in other languages that predate it). My discovery was a three volume Arno Press edition, a facsimile of the original 1847 edition with a plethora of illustrations throughout the text.”

But Pettit found the print in that Arno Press edition difficult to read, being small and almost illegible in places.  “Happily,” he says, “Zittaw Press has published a new complete edition of Varney, edited by Curt Herr. 

Here is Pettit’s entire Review