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KEV67

Victober

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Thank you for sharing.

 

7 hours ago, KEV67 said:

I have read lots of books I have nor understood or not enjoyed, even books with little bragging value.

 

Each to their own. 

 

7 hours ago, KEV67 said:

Dracula just seems to have gone off the boil. That is the main reason.  I liked the grandiloquent style of speech back in Transylvania when Dracula was speaking it. I'm not digging it now it's transferred to London. I don't like the gang that much: Dr Seward, Lord Goldalming, Quincy Morris and Van Helsing. I have not warmed to Van Helsing, and his circumlocuting, cod-courteous Dutch/German manner of address. He is not Peter Cushing. Spoiler. I am not a feminist or white knight, but

 

In yesterday's chapter Mina was asked to stay out of harm's way, because she was weak woman and too valuable to risk. However, I expect that's a plot device. The incidents seem a bit random. It's as if Bram Stoker thought wouldn't it be a great book if the most powerful vampire in Transylvania relocated to London, and then, I don't know, gets defeated somehow.

 

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu worked. That was somewhat shorter and it was all situated in eastern Europe. Most the Hammer House of Horror vampire films were set in Transylvania.

 

It's been 8 years since I read it so the fine details have left me now but surely this weak woman etc is just a symptom of the epoch it was written in? I should re-read it. Carmilla is on the list.

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3 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

It's been 8 years since I read it so the fine details have left me now but surely this weak woman etc is just a symptom of the epoch it was written in?

Maybe this is a conversation for the end of Victober but I don't think Mina is a weak woman in the book!

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In East Lynne, one of the characters is criticised for a fancy shirt. It cost him 25 shillings. I have often wondered how much money was worth then compared to now. Twenty-five shillings is £1.25 in today's money. Usually I multiply Victorian money amounts by 100 to get a relative value, but it does not always work. I think the hundred multiplier sort of works for middle class, but not for the working class or upper class.

 

In chapter 2 of my Penny Dreadful, the pirate ship, El Malachor, has picked up a one-eyed man from a raft. Initially there were fifty men on the raft, but thirty-seven died of thirst and hunger, and another dozen died of the miasma from the rotting bodies.

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I have changed my Penny Dreadful to Carmilla by J Sheridan le Fanu because I've got a better chance of finishing it before the end of October and a female vampire intrigues me. I'm five chapters in and it's marvellous!

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54 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I have changed my Penny Dreadful to Carmilla by J Sheridan le Fanu because I've got a better chance of finishing it before the end of October and a female vampire intrigues me. I'm five chapters in and it's marvellous!

I wouldn't call Carmilla a Penny Dreadful, but fair enough.

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28 minutes ago, KEV67 said:

I wouldn't call Carmilla a Penny Dreadful, but fair enough.

 

I didn't either but an internet search gleaned ""Carmilla", written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was first published as a serial novella in the penny dreadful magazine The Dark Blue in 1871-1872." from Carmilla Black Panther Vampire Victorian Red Eyes Penny | Etsy

 

 

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On 20/10/2021 at 8:37 AM, KEV67 said:

In chapter 2 of my Penny Dreadful, the pirate ship, El Malachor, has picked up a one-eyed man from a raft. Initially there were fifty men on the raft, but thirty-seven died of thirst and hunger, and another dozen died of the miasma from the rotting bodies.

You know you've drifted deep into the Gothic when the characters start dying from death! (Still tempted by this Penny Dreadful option!)

 

17 hours ago, KEV67 said:

I wouldn't call Carmilla a Penny Dreadful, but fair enough.

 

17 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I didn't either but an internet search gleaned ""Carmilla", written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was first published as a serial novella in the penny dreadful magazine The Dark Blue in 1871-1872."

It does really depend on your definition of a Penny Dreadful. I agree Carmilla is fair. It's the right style and it was serialised. It's a bit unfair of the etsy listing to call The Dark Blue a penny dreadful magazine though. It was actually a pretty expensive magazine (a shilling) and it featured some incredible artists and authors (like William Morris, Rossetti and Andrew Lang). It was horribly managed, cost way too much to produce and the editor ended up fleeing the country after just a few years... but it wasn't just a penny dreadful magazine :lol:. Has anybody ever seen the 'Penny Dreadful' anthology book that Barnes and Noble bought out? Frankenstein was included in that one!

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Finished Carmilla and it was marvellous. Vampires are always entertaining. 

 

Penny Dreadful searches - mine anyway - do get caught up in the TV series (fantastic!) of the same name making searching a bit challenging.  I'm glad that I read it, though, it was on the list.

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13 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Finished Carmilla and it was marvellous. Vampires are always entertaining. 

I love this quote from Carmilla: 'But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths'. 

That is definitely true about vampires and entertainment, I can't say I've ever read a boring book with a vampire in it!

And that means you've finished the challenge Luna! It's not even the end of the month :lol:. Which was your favourite of the three?

 

I'm still going with Lady Audley's Secret and still really enjoying it. I've had to be strict about putting it down at the end of a chapter so I don't end up going to sleep too late (I've had a busy work week!). Hoping to have a lot more reading time today, once I've caught up on neglected house things.

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13 minutes ago, Hayley said:

I love this quote from Carmilla: 'But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths'. 

That is definitely true about vampires and entertainment, I can't say I've ever read a boring book with a vampire in it!

And that means you've finished the challenge Luna! It's not even the end of the month :lol:. Which was your favourite of the three?


If I have to choose I'd say Lady Audley's Secret. Kept me on the edge of my seat pretty much all the way through and I didn't guess the twist at the end, marvellous. I have, indeed, finished the challenge and I'm glad that I did it. I would not have read two of these (Lady Audley's Secret  and Carmilla)  otherwise and thoroughly enjoyed all three. 
 

17 minutes ago, Hayley said:

 

I'm still going with Lady Audley's Secret and still really enjoying it. I've had to be strict about putting it down at the end of a chapter so I don't end up going to sleep too late (I've had a busy work week!). Hoping to have a lot more reading time today, once I've caught up on neglected house things.


Such discipline! I can't do that which is why I don't read in bed or immediately prior to it. It also gives you time to savour the book, which is great.

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40 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

and I didn't guess the twist at the end, marvellous.

I'm really looking forward to finding out the ending! I love that the mystery seems pretty clear-cut at the beginning, you think you see where it's going, but it becomes increasingly complex and uncertain as we go!

 

40 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I have, indeed, finished the challenge and I'm glad that I did it. I would not have read two of these (Lady Audley's Secret  and Carmilla)  otherwise and thoroughly enjoyed all three. 

That's brilliant. I think we can call the first Victober on BCF a success then :lol:.

 

42 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Such discipline! I can't do that which is why I don't read in bed or immediately prior to it. It also gives you time to savour the book, which is great.

If I know I'm getting to a particularly good part I also just don't even start reading before bed. I am not that disciplined when it comes to books... buying them or reading them :giggle2:

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6 hours ago, Hayley said:

That's brilliant. I think we can call the first Victober on BCF a success then :lol:.


I'd say so

 

6 hours ago, Hayley said:

If I know I'm getting to a particularly good part I also just don't even start reading before bed. I am not that disciplined when it comes to books... buying them or reading them :giggle2:


I'm lucky in that I can pick up my book any time I please so get all the reading that I need - and it is a need! - to do during the day or early evening. If I don't read enough I get the yips, literally, but I can put it down eventually.

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I wondered whether Penny Dreadfuls were forerunners or served a similar readership as comics. They are obviously more wordy, and they do not have as many pictures. Then I wondered whether it was pulp fiction for its day. I read a pulp fiction book recently. It was almost self-parodying, but I still think it was better written than The Frozen Crew, at least more skilfully written. I gather a lot of pulp fiction was serialised in magazines. In 20thC America I think pulp fiction was usually sci-fi or crime. In 19thC Britain it seems to have been horror and crime. I think the readership was similar, but I suspect the readers of Penny Dreadfuls were a bit younger.

Edited by KEV67
Typo

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Only two more chapters of Dracula to go. I looked up its score on Goodreads yesterday; it was 4.00. I wondered whether there was some software error, because they have updated the Goodreads website recently. However I added up all the scores and averaged them out, and it did come out to 4.00 to two decimal places. 4.00 is a pretty good score for Goodreads. I would not have said it was as good as that. If two stars = 'it was ok', and three stars = 'I liked it', I'd say it was somewhere in between.

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I had to add The Frozen Crew of the Ice Bound Ship to the GoodReads database. My edition was published in 2020 by Gannet Games. I wonder if that means it has not been in publication since 1868. At the back it says it was printed by Amazon. I know you can publish your own stuff on Amazon. I once bought a book on heat pumps just to find it was a student's MSc dissertation. It was rubbish.

Edited by KEV67

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I was reading today how Dracula had difficulty crossing water. I thought that was odd, another seemingly arbitrary limitation on his great power. Earlier in this thread I posted the unoriginal thought that vampirism may have been inspired by dread of disease, for example syphilis or tuberculosis. That may have been true in Victorian London, but I have just read there were two other diseases that may have inspired East European folklore, on which Dracula was based. One was Pellagra, which results from a vitamin deficiency. The other is rabies. Rabies is a terrifying disease. It is transmitted by biting. One symptom is a fear of water. Another name for the disease is hydrophobia. According to the article, another symptom can be a sensitivity to light.

 

https://theconversation.com/more-disease-than-dracula-how-the-vampire-myth-was-born-167482?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

 

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31 minutes ago, KEV67 said:

I was reading today how Dracula had difficulty crossing water. I thought that was odd, another seemingly arbitrary limitation on his great power. Earlier in this thread I posted the unoriginal thought that vampirism may have been inspired by dread of disease, for example syphilis or tuberculosis. That may have been true in Victorian London, but I have just read there were two other diseases that may have inspired East European folklore, on which Dracula was based. One was Pellagra, which results from a vitamin deficiency. The other is rabies. Rabies is a terrifying disease. It is transmitted by biting. One symptom is a fear of water. Another name for the disease is hydrophobia. According to the article, another symptom can be a sensitivity to light.

 

https://theconversation.com/more-disease-than-dracula-how-the-vampire-myth-was-born-167482?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

 

 

Fascinating article, Kev, thanks for posting.

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There's also a disease called porphyria (spelling?) which has similar symptoms eg sensitivity to light.  All interesting theories and quite possible reasons.

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17 minutes ago, Madeleine said:

There's also a disease called porphyria (spelling?) which has similar symptoms eg sensitivity to light.  All interesting theories and quite possible reasons.

 

You are absolutely right (and it has different spellings depending on where you are, that's the right one for here).  It's a mainly inherited blood disorder which can affect the skin.

 

It's also known as .......... Vampire's Disease (not by medical professionals I assume) and is "A group of inherited blood disorders resulting from build-up of certain chemicals related to red blood cell proteins."  

 

Stick all that together and before humans had medicine and diagnosis tools we get vampires. Fascinating.

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It is interesting how vampire stories have evolved. I guess in eastern Europe vampires were demonic figures who spread terrible diseases. In the 19th century when west Europeans, including British and Irish authors started writing about them, they became sexy but still bad. Lord Ruthven was based on Lord Byron, so presumably he was sexy. Carmilla was sexy. Dracula was charismatic and had a way with the ladies. Edmond Dantes from the Count of Monte Cristo and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights were both a bit vampyric. In the late 20th/ early 21st centuries, some American writers have made vampires sexy, but not really bad any more, just brooding and a bit glum. I have not actually read any of the Twilight books. I just assume that is what they are like in them. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy's love interest, Angel, was not an evil vampire, just a tortured soul.

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4 hours ago, Madeleine said:

There's also a disease called porphyria (spelling?) which has similar symptoms eg sensitivity to light.  All interesting theories and quite possible reasons.

 

They say George III might have had porphyria, but was it a very widespread disease? I cannot remember hearing of it before.

 

Thinking about rabies, you would think that might be tied in more with the werewolves myths. However vampires and wolves seem linked in Dracula at least. Dracula can shape shift into a wolf and has control over them.

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Porphyria is pretty rare, now anyway.  There was also a lot of haemophilia in the royal family back then (maybe due to marrying cousins, as it can be inherited?).

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1 hour ago, Madeleine said:

Porphyria is pretty rare, now anyway.  There was also a lot of haemophilia in the royal family back then (maybe due to marrying cousins, as it can be inherited?).

I read the haemophilia started with Queen Victoria. She had an older father, and it is thought he passed on a mutation. 

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Extract from the Frozen Crew:

"No!" Shouted Black Bill. "I can unearth the fox, though he had burrowed ten fathoms deep. This holy water," he continued, "which I took from a priest we murdered on our last cruise, is a sure preservative against the machinations of this imp of Beelzebub; a few drops sprinkled on the deck will make the devil put his cloven feet again in motion."

Edited by KEV67

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