Vampire Timeline

The world of the vampire has captivated the imagination of readers and authors alike for 200 years. The dark allure of these creatures of the night has fuelled the fire of gothic masterpieces, produced chilling and sensational cinema, and had teenagers queuing around the block for the latest books.

Waterstones.com invites you to try one of our favourite vampire novels from throughout the ages. Where human meets monster, and fantasy meets reality, there is a hypnotic world of the sinister and seductive just waiting for you to lose yourself in. Give yourself a fright with a book with some bite!

Christabel

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On its publication, the poem Christabel became the first depiction of the Vampire in English literature. The story was originally written in 1797, with plans for additional parts that never came to fruition. Being unfinished when it hit the page shrouded the work in mystery, inspiring other writers to create their own macabre tales and even to complete Coleridge's story themselves.

The Vampyre

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Generally regarded as the world's first ever vampire story, The Vampyre was published in instalments in a periodical magazine, a common practice at the time. Polidori's vampire protagonist was the dark seducer that we know and still love in the novels of today. Lord Ruthven is as much debonair heartbreaker as monster.

Varney the Vampire

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From the writer who first introduced the notorious villain Sweeney Todd, Varney the Vampire set precedents that still contribute to the popularity of the genre today. Prest's story features fangs and the punctured necks of maidens, giving readers a taste for the gory while cultivating the folklore of the undead.

Dracula

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The world's most recognisable and much-loved vampire story left readers' fascinated with the genre forever. Dracula, which went on to become one of the most popular horror novels of all time, was followed later in the same year by Rudyard Kipling's The Vampire. The era of vampire story-telling was truly under way.

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

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Even London's best-loved crime fighter has had to deal with a case of bloodsucking. With pipe and magnifying glass in hand, Sherlock Holmes had some super-sleuthing to do to solve the case of the Sussex Vampire.

I Am Legend

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One of the most critically regarded horror novels of modern time, Matheson's story has a twist on the formula and a rarely matched cult following. It gave inspiration to George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead and the 2007 Hollywood movie extravaganza of the same name.

Vampirella

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Vampires came to comic books in the 60s in kitsch but sinister style. Vampirella takes some foundation from Christabel, embracing feminine vamp seduction and having fun in a comic strip series that is still hitting shelves today, over 40 years later.

The Tomb of Dracula

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Marvel Comics launched into the world of the vampire with The Tomb of Dracula. The series ran for eight years and was enormously popular, while introducing the famous daywalker, Blade - who would later be immortalised by Wesley Snipes in the movie trilogy blood fest.

Salem's Lot

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The most prolific horror writer ever published, this vampire classic has intentional echoes of Dracula and was very quickly recognised as a landmark work of fiction. Cited in interviews with King as his favourite work, Salem's Lot brought Vampires up-to-date and living on your street.

Interview with The Vampire

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Originally a short story, this now iconic novel led to two further best sellers in The Vampire Lestat (1985) and Queen of the Damned (1988) and became a Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise, Christian Slater and every girl's favourite bloodsucker, Brad Pitt in 1994.

Vampire Diaries

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The modern incarnation of vampirism begins. L. J. Smith's Vampire Diaries was originally meant to be a trilogy but was met with such popularity that new books are still being released. The much-loved TV series spin-off has also fanned the flames of teen fascination with the undead.

Guilty Pleasures

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20 books later, Laurell K Hamilton's series has stood the test of time and goes from strength to strength. Guilty Pleasures introduces Anita Blake, the all-action heroine and superstar detective who solves murders and rids an alternate St Louis of its nastier side, the vamps.

Dead Until Dark

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Super sexy and a little more adult than many of the current crop of vampire sagas, Dead Until Dark marked the beginning of Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mystery series. The stories were adapted for TV by Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, in the gritty and ground-breaking show, True Blood.

Let the Right One In

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Another critically acclaimed take on the genre, this time with a Swedish flavour. Let the Right One In is a social commentary and a moving fable while also a chilling and bloody vamp story. It's been adapted to the cinema in not one but two film versions in the space of two years.

Twilight

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This series made vampire fiction the biggest teen craze in a long time. Stephenie Meyer came from nowhere to become the most-read fiction writer, topping bestseller lists for years. Meyer overtook the hearts of readers, young and old. The books led to a five-film contract and still continue to beguile, with the final book in the series, Breaking Dawn, coming to cinema screens in two parts, the first being released at the end of 2011.

Last Breath

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The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine first began in 2006 with the publication of Glass Houses. The story follows the youthful Claire Danvers in her mission to free the vampire-controlled Texas town of Morganville. The latest in the hugely popular series is Last Breath, released on the 1st of November.

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