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Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories

Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Stories: Book 1

Michael Sims

Even in the twenty-first century, the undead walk among us... Before "Twilight" and "True Blood", vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, "Dracula". Acclaimed author and anthologist Michael Sims brings together the finest vampire stories of the Victorian era in a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety.

Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Aleksei Tolstoy's tale of a vampire family to Fitz James O'Brien's invisible monster to Mary Elizabeth Braddon's rich and sinister widow, Good Lady Ducayne. Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and finishes the collection with Stoker's own Dracula's Guest - a chapter omitted from his landmark novel. Vampires captivated Victorian society, and these wonderful stories demonstrate how Romantic and Victorian writers refined the raw ore of peasant superstition into a whole vampire mythology of aristocratic decadence and innocence betrayed.


  • 1 - Introduction: The Cost of Living - essay by Michael Sims
  • 23 - They Opened the Graves - short fiction by Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens
  • 27 - Dead Persons in Hungary - essay by Augustin Calmet [as by Antoine Augustin Calmet]
  • 38 - The End of My Journey - (1819) - short fiction by Lord George Gordon Byron (variant of Fragment of a Novel) [as by George Gordon, Lord Byron]
  • 47 - The Vampyre - [Lord Ruthven] - (1819) - short story by Dr. John William Polidori (variant of The Vampyre: A Tale) [as by John Polidori]
  • 71 - Wake Not the Dead - (1823) - novelette by Ernst Raupach (trans. of Laßt die Todten ruhen 1822) [as by Johann Ludwig Tieck]
  • 103 - The Deathly Lover - (1843) - novelette by Théophile Gautier (trans. of La morte amoureuse 1836)
  • 137 - The Family of the Vourdalak - novella by ? (trans. of La famille du Vourdalak 1838) [as by Aleksei Tolstoy]
  • 170 - Varney the Vampyre: Or, The Feast of Blood - [Varney the Vampyre (excerpts)] - short fiction by James Malcolm Rymer
  • 179 - What Was It? A Mystery - (1859) - short story by Fitz-James O'Brien (variant of What Was It?)
  • 196 - The Mysterious Stranger - (1854) - novelette by Karl von Wachsmann (trans. of Der Fremde 1844) [as by Anonymous]
  • 242 - A Mystery of the Campagna - (1886) - novelette by Anne Crawford
  • 281 - Death and Burial - Vampires and Were-Wolves - essay by Emily Gerard
  • 293 - Let Loose - (1890) - short story by Mary Cholmondeley
  • 314 - A True Story of a Vampire - (1894) - short fiction by Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock (variant of The True Story of a Vampire) [as by Eric, Count Stenbock]
  • 325 - Good Lady Ducayne - (1896) - novelette by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • 357 - And the Creature Came In - (1900) - short fiction by Augustus Hare (variant of The Vampire of Croglin Grange)
  • 363 - The Tomb of Sarah - (1900) - short story by F. G. Loring
  • 379 - The Vampire Maid - (1890) - short story by Hume Nisbet
  • 391 - Luella Miller - (1902) - short story by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • 408 - Count Magnus - (1904) - short story by M. R. James
  • 424 - Aylmer Vance and the Vampire - [Aylmer Vance] - (1914) - short story by Alice Askew and Claude Askew (variant of The Vampire)
  • 449 - Dracula's Guest - [Dracula] - (1914) - short story by Bram Stoker

The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories

Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Stories: Book 2

Michael Sims

Ghost stories date back centuries, but those written in the Victorian era have a unique atmosphere and dark beauty. Michael Sims, whose previous Victorian collections Dracula's Guest (vampires) and The Dead Witness (detectives) have been widely praised, has gathered twelve of the best stories about humanity's oldest supernatural obsession. The Phantom Coach includes tales by a surprising, often legendary cast, from Charles Dickens and Margaret Oliphant to Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, and Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as well as lost gems by forgotten masters such as Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and W.F. Harvey. Amelia Edwards' chilling story gives the collection its title, while Ambrose Bierce ("The Moonlit Road"), Elizabeth Gaskell, ("The Old Nurse's Story") and W. W. Jacobs ("The Monkey's Paw") will turn you white as a sheet. With a skillful introduction to the genre and notes on each story by Michael Sims, The Phantom Coach is a spectacular collection of ghostly Victorian thrills.

Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Science Fiction

Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Stories: Book 3

Michael Sims

Long before 1984, Star Wars, or The Hunger Games, Victorian authors imagined a future where new science and technologies reshaped the world and universe they knew. The great themes of modern science fiction showed up surprisingly early: space and time travel, dystopian societies, even dangerously independent machines, all inspiring the speculative fiction of the Victorian era.

In Frankenstein Dreams, Michael Sims has gathered many of the very finest stories, some by classic writers such as Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and H.G. Wells, but many that will surprise general readers. Dark visions of the human psyche emerge in Thomas Wentworth Higginson's "The Monarch of Dreams," while Mary E. Wilkins Freeman provides a glimpse of "the fifth dimension" in her provocative tale "The Hall Bedroom.'

With contributions by Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Fuller, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, and many others, each introduced by Michael Sims, whose elegant introduction provides valuable literary and historical context, Frankenstein Dreams is a treasure trove of stories known and rediscovered.