Saturday, 31 January 2009



"Some years later I completed the portrait I had begun when we first met. It hung in a room where I liked to be alone, play music and write poetry; a room seldom frequented by anyone else." (The Highgate Vampire, p. 184).

I would attempt further portraits in the following century (see below), but these only seemed to manage to reflect the nightmare aspect of our history and very little else. Nothing I subsequently attempted would capture the beauty and truth contained in the brush strokes of my first impression on canvas, painted for the most part while she was still alive.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower ...

"The leaves rose in a whirlwind of frenzy before falling aimlessly to the floor. Something cold filled the darkness of that room ... It gathered into a vague shape as a vaporous substance condensed before me and two burning eyes met my own. They gleamed like rich emeralds with glints of fire which reflected in them the very flames of perdition. Then I heard a familiar voice in my ears." (The Highgate Vampire,  Gothic Press 1991 edition, page 176).

These are the very last portraits committed to canvas, recounting a metamorphosed nightmare spectre from beyond the confines of the grave.


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