Clarimonde: An Early Psychological Vampire Tale

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The Gothic Wanderer

In 1836, French author Théophile Gautier published a short story titled “Le Morte Amoreuse” in Le Chronique de Paris. While the title translates into English as “The Dead in Love,” it was published in English as “Clarimonde” after its primary female character.

Clarimonde – this cover focuses on theme of death in the novel, although most depictions focus on the female vampire herself.

The work was likely influenced by the popularity of Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819), the first vampire story in England, which was soon translated into French and became more popular through stage productions. Gautier no doubt was influenced by Polidori’s work, but Gautier’s story was also translated into English and likely influenced the vampire novels that succeeded it. One reason “Clarimonde” stand out is it was the first prose work about a female vampire. (Previously, female vampires appeared in English poetry, notably Coleridge’s “Christabel” (1816)—although Coleridge never…

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Morgan’s Raid, 1863

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Blue & Gray Magazine

Volume XXX, #2, an Excerpt from:

Morgan’s Great Raid, 1863
Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio

View a special Captioned Supplemental Photo Gallery of the Raid.

By James Ramage

General John Hunt Morgan was one of the greatest special forces commanders in history, and he stands higher today in military history than ever. In the important book A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War, Daniel Sutherland, a leading scholar on irregular warfare in the Civil War, wrote that Morgan was “a master of guerrilla tactics” who, beginning in the summer of 1862, “stood alone as the premier Confederate partisan.” As “the central figure” among Confederate guerrillas, by example, Morgan “resuscitated many local bands that had gone to the ground” and renewed the hopes of Southerners. David L. Mowery, in his excellent, new book, Morgan’s Great Raid: The Remarkable Expedition from Kentucky to Ohio, concludes that the Great…

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The Evangeline and Gabriel Oaks

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100 Oaks Project

Each year thousands of tourists visit St. Martinville, Louisiana, in search of the roots of Cajun culture—to experience the food, music, and to visit the places associated with the story of Evangeline. The Evangeline oak is undoubtedly the most famous oak in Louisiana, though oddly it’s not a very old or exceptionally large tree. And according to some sources, it’s the third oak in the St. Martinville area that has been designated as the “oak under which the Cajun lovers Emmeline and Louis were reunited” after their long separation when the Acadians were exiled from Canada. (Emmeline and Louis are reported to be the real life characters upon which Longfellow’s fictitious Evangeline and Gabriel were modeled.)

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The Evangeline Oak is located on the edge of Bayou Teche at the foot of East Port St., next to the Old Castillo Bed and Breakfast (which I can personally state is very haunted—but…

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Corinne Elliott Lawton, Obituary, Savannah Morning News, 1877

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Ruthrawls's Blog

Savannah Morning News, 1877 edition from January 1 – December 31, 1877, page 337.  We later went in search of the address of her home, BUT we don’t know if it was EAST Perry Street or WEST Perry Street.  Regardless, there are no homes at either location, only newer buildings or concrete parking lots.  We wonder if the house number is a typo.

Jan. 25, 1877:  3/1 – Funeral invitation –

Lawton – The friends and acquaintances of General and Mrs. A. R. Lawton are invited to attend the funeral of their eldest daughter, Corinne, this morning at 11 o’clock from their residence 135 Perry St.

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(Edited on 7/10/13)  If you would like to read an account of Corinne’s last days as written by her mother in her diary, click here.  If you would prefer to believe the trashy stories that are still being spread about her, by all means…

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White Slavery

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Strange New Words

George Lucas raised some ire with a poor choice of metaphors recently, in an interview with Charlie Rose, referring to his movies as his children and then confessing and I sold them to the white slavers. The big hubbub right now is that he referred to Disney as white slavers. He metaphorically did, but he also technically referred to himself as a white slaver, considering that slavers are people who sell slaves, id est, sell people into slavery.

My pause comes from his metaphor referring to Disney / himself as white slavers. White slavery historically refers to the trade of Europeans by the Ottoman Empire, in an age when slavery wasn’t too far removed from ordinary feudal contracts between vassals and liege lords. Slaves were commonly captured in war and had no rights (though considering a noble could dead a serf any time he wanted, that wasn’t…

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Fairy Stories

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Strange New Words

Scarborough Fair is a ballad from the deep middle ages, maybe as old as Robin Hood or even King Arthur. It’s certainly older than its trade-show namesake to which the song was associated with only as late as the nineteenth century, which is also when it got its notorious refrain:

Fairy-kind had a different set of manners than those of humans, and one of their rules was that you couldn’t just refuse someone when they wanted a thing, because it’s important to them, there’s attachment. There’s destiny. And so was the case for The Elfin Knight who pranced and strutted in all his hunky glory atop a Scottish hill and was spied by fair maiden / bonny lass / hip chick, Isabel who decided she wanted a bit of that.

Some versions justify her lust because he was tooting a magic horn of love. (Yeah. Read into that

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