Vampire literature covers the spectrum of literary work concerned principally with the subject of vampires. The literary vampire first appeared in 18th-century poetry, before becoming one of the stock figures of gothic fiction with the publication of Polidori's The Vampyre (1819), which was inspired by the life and legend of Lord Byron. Later influential works include the penny dreadful Varney the Vampire (1847); Sheridan Le Fanu's tale of a lesbian vampire, Carmilla (1872), and the masterpiece of the genre: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Some authors created a more "sympathetic vampire", with Varney being the first, and Anne Rice's 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire as a more recent example.
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