A Vampiric Revenant at the Cape (1834)

The novel Makanna, or the Land of the Savage (1834) is noteworthy as one of the first colonial novels written about Africa in English. An aspect of this novel that has eluded critical attention until now has been its Gothic content, in particular a vampiric revenant who appears in a dream of one of the heroes. This brief article describes this phantom as an early example of a non-aristocratic vampire. The article shows how the text calls for a psychological explanation of the vampire, and uses it to express certain white, middle class anxieties, chiefly related to sexual relationships. The text also stresses a link between vampirism and greed which became increasingly important in subsequent vampire literature.

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