Entry updated 5 August 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1833-1899) UK author, playwright, editor (of London Society magazine 1872-1876) and actress, daughter of the naval officer and pioneering sea-story author Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848); now perhaps best remembered for her espousal of Spiritualism as recorded in such late nonfiction works as There Is No Death (1891) and The Spirit World (1894) [not listed below]. She was a prolific author of sensational novels from 1865 onwards, also publishing both long and short supernatural fiction [see Checklist below]. The Strange Transfiguration of Hannah Stubbs (1896) features Identity Transfer, with the spirit of a woman murdered by her jealous husband vengefully possessing the body of his second wife.
Marryat is of greatest genre interest for a novel published in the same year as Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897; rev with cuts 1901), the Gothic-tinged The Blood of the Vampire (1897). Its female protagonist Harriet Brandt is an unwitting psychic Vampire whose touch drains the life-force from others; the first two accidental victims are children. Of mixed-race origin, her unwed parents in Jamaica being a kind of Mad Scientist medical experimenter and the daughter of a slave, Harriet is accused of being cursed with both "black blood" (see Race in SF) and "vampire blood". Against a concerned doctor's advice she marries; her husband dies on the first night of their honeymoon and Harriet opts for suicide. The effect is tragic rather than horrific. [DRL]
born Brighton, Sussex: 9 July 1833
died London: 27 October 1899
works (highly selected)
- The Risen Dead (New York: National Book Company, 1891) [hb/]
- The Dead Man's Message: An Occult Romance (New York: Charles B Reed, Publisher, 1894) [hb/]
- A Soul on Fire (London: Bliss, Sands and Co, 1898) [vt of the above: hb/]
- The Strange Transfiguration of Hannah Stubbs (London: Hutchinson, 1896) [hb/]
- The Blood of the Vampire (London: Hutchinson, 1897) [hb/]
- The Ghost of Charlotte Cray, and Other Stories (Leipzig, Germany: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1883) [coll: pb/]
- The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of Florence Marryat: Volume 1 (no place given: Leonaur, 2017) [coll: hb/]
- The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of Florence Marryat: Volume 2 (no place given: Leonaur, 2017) [coll: hb/]
- Florence Marryat
- "1897: the year of the psychic vampire"
- Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Picture Gallery
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