After reading the first 5 chapters of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre I’m wondering: Where are all the vampires? And are we sure that Darcy is one?
With Darcy walking about in the daylight not sparkling or bursting into flame, it is hard to say. Sunlight is one of the very few largely universal constants of vampire lore. Namely, that they do not walk about by day because they are the most vulnerable and weak at that time, and direct exposure will kill them.
Another vampire myth states that they cannot cross running water, and tend to be a landlocked bunch. However, we cross streams and embark on a sea voyage. The sight of Darcy standing beside Elizabeth emitting his strength and power does scare off a ship full of murderous pirates, though that could have been the cannon or the mysteriously mentioned albatross.
Perhaps the vampires can be flushed out with the liberal use of garlic? But for those with sensitive digestion who themselves shy away from the garlic laced cuisine of the Parisians that may not be as startling an indicator. After all, garlic doesn’t actually kill a vampire straight away, it merely wards them off. It’s more like a really bad allergy. I guess it could lead to death if constantly applied as a means of poisoning as one of the Darcy footmen claims, but I’ve never actually read of that ever happening.
Fun Fact: Garlic can be used as a natural mosquito repellent, and as we all know mosquitoes are nothing but vampire insects. Coincidence?
So how do we ferret out the vampires that may be lurking about the Parisian night life? Elizabeth notes with some interesting descriptions the differences of the Parisians she meets from the English she has known.
They were beautiful and mesmerizing in a way she had never encountered before. The women undulated, instead of walked, across the rooms with the sinuous beauty of snakes, and the men were scarcely any less seductive. They spoke to her in low voices, holding her hand lingeringly and gazing into her eyes with an intensity which at once attracted and repulsed her. [p39]
Fascinating as all that is with a few mentions of carefully crafted posing and fluiditic piano playing all this does little more than hint at the supernatural because at no point does Elizabeth experience anything alarming or without a doubt vampiric. We have hints and allusions, but nothing definitive. There is even mention of Darcy wearing a gold crucifix beneath his shirt, a gift from Elizabeth, which the beautiful, melancholy Katrine du Bois sees as a sure sign of Darcy’s love for his wife.
We can guess that Mme Rousel, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Lady Catherine, Anne, and Count Polidori are all surely vampires due largely to their association with Darcy and the strange cryptic comments made, but again, nothing is directly said. So far these vampires are very subtle creatures with no sign of the believed limitations of vampire kind. Will there be more revealing tells in the coming pages? We must keep reading to see.
Without searching and just for fun, who understood the albatross reference? And can anyone guess why the name of Darcy’s uncle Count Polidori made me smile? (I’ll give you a hint: It relates to the title of the book.) Also, what do you think of the vampires so far?
*Photo: Wine Drop by delphaber, obtained through Flickr.