"vampire" from 1688?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon May 28 20:32:14 UTC 2007

This kind of error is easy to make when, expecting a big discovery, you zero in on what you're looking for and don't read enough of the surrounding context.


Bonnie Taylor-Blake <taylor-blake at NC.RR.COM> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society
Poster:       Bonnie Taylor-Blake
Subject:      Re: "vampire" from 1688?

I had written:

> Forman, however, was writing from Paris in January, 1733 (see
> "Forman2," below).  The first three pages of the chapter in which
> "Vampires of the Publick" appears can be found for a while at
> http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l275/BonnieTB/Forman2.jpg
> http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l275/BonnieTB/Forman3.jpg
> http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l275/BonnieTB/Forman4.jpg

I now see that Katharina M. Wilson's "The History of the Word 'Vampire'"
(*Journal of the History of Ideas* 46[4]:  577-583 [1985]) holds that,


Ten years later, in 1688, the term must have been fairly well known, because
Forman, in his *Observations on the Revolution in 1688*, written in the same
year and published in 1741, used the term in a footnote metaphorically
without attaching any explanation to it. [p. 580]


And Wilson gives the text of that footnote, citing that it appeared in
Forman's _Observations on the Revolution in 1668 (1741), 11.

Which strikes me as curious, because not only does the first page of
Forman's letter (p. 9 of the book) indicates that he was writing from Paris
in January, 1733, but Forman mentions on that same page works he wrote in
July, 1731.  And on the very page Wilson specifically references -- three
pages into Forman's letter -- Forman mentions Addison's "69th Spectator."
Which was published on May 19, 1711.

-- Bonnie

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