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Early Nineteenth-Century Vampire Literature and the Rejection of Enlightenment Rationalism

  • Author / Creator
    Dalton, Andrew BJ
  • This thesis argues that early nineteenth-century vampire literature rejected the Enlightenment’s attempts to rationalize and explain away the early eighteenth-century vampire craze. Enlightenment scholars of the eighteenth century rationalized famous vampire accounts to dispel supernatural beliefs in the Age of Reason. Through an examination of the tales of John Polidori, Lord Byron, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Johann Ludwig Tieck, Théophile Gautier, and Aleksei Tolstoy this research reveals that they used the central themes of early eighteenth-century vampire accounts in conjunction with Enlightenment vampire metaphors to reject Enlightenment rationalism. Furthermore, the vampire was contemporized in the nineteenth century as an aristocratic evil, providing an escape for readers from their current reality by returning to the realm of the supernatural. This thesis follows the reader response approach focusing on early eighteenth-century vampire accounts, Enlightenment scholarship that rationalized supernatural beliefs, and the contents and consumption of early nineteenth-century vampire tales.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2012-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3VP41
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of History and Classics
  • Specialization
    • History
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Gow, Andrew (Department of History and Classics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Coleman, Heather (Department of History and Classics)
    • Zivkovic, Marko (Department of Anthropology)
    • Sweeney, Dennis (Department of History and Classics)
    • Caradonna, Jeremy (Department of History and Classics)
    • Brown, Sylvia (Department of English and Film Studies)