Paul Féval is a French novelist who was born in 1816 and died in 1887. Most have never heard of this man, which is a shame since he has been labeled “the father of modern crime novels,” and one of his vampire stories, La Ville Vampire, is known as “the ultimate literary ancestor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Both of Féval’s vampire novels, La Vampire (1865) and La Ville Vampire (1867), tell haunting tales of crime, death and adventure. The Vampire Countess is much more twisted and wicked than Vampire City, which is both thrilling and humorous, but both are equally entertaining reads.
Description for La Vampire (The Vampire Countess):
“In vita mors, in morte vita! In life, death; in death, life!
The Vampire Countess tells the story of a Hungarian Countess who takes up lodgings in Paris in the company of a secret society of operatives who appear to be scheming to perpetrate either large scale crimes, or to foment political unrest, perhaps both. The Countess, of a personal beauty almost intoxicating, appears to have another even more troubling secret. She may be a centuries-old vampire, or ogre-like creature, who must periodically restore her youth by killing beautiful children and grafting their removed scalps to her own head. And so she is (or rather appears to be) involved in several levels of nefarious activity: criminal, political, and supernatural, in a complex web of Machiavellian schemes of which no one, even her allies, is fully cognizant.”
Description for La Ville Vampire (Vampire City):
“Some tell of a great city of black jasper which has streets and buildings like any other city but is eternally in mourning, enveloped by perpetual gloom. Some call it Selene, some Vampire City, but the vampires refer to it among themselves by the name of the Sepulchre… To destroy the dreaded vampire lord Otto Goetzi, writer Ann Radcliffe, Merry Bones the Irishman, and Grey Jack her faithful servant, launch an all-out attack on Selene…”
If you’re a fan of classic literature, I highly suggest giving these little-known works a read.