It was on May 26th in 1897 that Bram Stoker's vampire novel Dracula first made its way onto bookstore shelves and into popular lore. When I just recently learned this fact, I raised my fists to the air, thinking loudly, "This is the day that 113 years ago, a course of events was put into motion that ultimately led to Twilight! Curses!"
I had, of course, assumed that as the definitive piece of vampire literature, Dracula was also the first. But you know what they say: When you assume, you make incorrect claims about the ancient origins of irritating popular culture phenomena. Or something to that effect.
After a bit of research, just to confirm my disdain was well founded, I realized it wasn't. Dracula was actually preceded and inspired by the work Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, which came out in 1872. This novel, the real first vampire novel (though still not the first piece of vampire fiction), tells the story of a lesbian vampire who seduces a young girl and manipulates her family. Wait a minute. Carmilla sounds familiar. Lesbian vampires. I've got it!
It turns out, this movie wasn't the completely random romp I once considered it to be: