Draining life forces: vampirism in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
Kathleen K. Hickock
P. M. Keith
Rarely did authors of the nineteenth century choose to make their vampires female. Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's "Carmilla," first published in 1872, is credited as being the first " ... to break with the tradition of the literary vampire as a Byronic figure by creating a woman vampire". Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, however, presents an interesting argument against this claim that LeFanu created the first female vampire in English literature. In Wuthering Heights, first published in 1847, 25 years before "Carmilla," Bronte created her own female vampire in the character of Catherine Earnshaw Linton. This creation of the female vampire provided Bronte with the means to comment on and criticize the roles women were forced to play in the nineteenth century.