"vampire" from 1688?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon May 28 15:54:57 UTC 2007

In "The Vampire: A Casebook" (ed. Alan Dundes, 1998), page 6,
Katharina M. Wilson quotes Charles Forman using the word "vampire"
"metaphorically" in his "Observations on the Revolution in
1688".  She claims that this work was written in "the same year",
presumably meaning 1688, and was published in 1741.  If she is
correct about the date it was written, this figurative use antedates
OED2 by 46 years, and would indicate knowledge of and literal use of
the word earlier.

Wilson also claims that the OED's first dating of "vampire" to
"Travels of 3 English Gentlemen ... in 1734" is incorrect, asserting
that it was not composed until "half a century" after Forman and was
not published until 1810.  (Although applying the latter notion to
Forman's "Observations" would make it too later than the known 1732
appearances -- see next paragraph.)

In December 2003 I submitted a finding of June 5, 1732, from "The
Weekly Rehearsal" (Boston), and discussion in ADS-L indicates "The
Craftsman" (London) of May 20 and (if locatable) "The London Journal"
of March 11.  (Clearly "The Weekly Rehearsal" did not get its story
from "The Craftsman".)


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