A poem, which was to be the beginning of a medieval tale about a demon or witch. A young woman, Christabel, is out roaming on her castle's grounds one night discovers a pale woman who needs her help. The woman, Geraldine, cannot pass the doorway unassisted and must be carried inside. Geraldine begins the seduction of Christabel and the two sleep together with Christabel in Geraldine's arms.
The next morning, Christabel's father is completely taken by Geraldine and offers his hospitality. Christabel is aware that something is wrong and asks that his guests be sent home. The father becomes angry at his daughter for this inhospitality
This poem was intended to be the start of a longer story, but was never completed. The first part was written in 1797. Coleridge had wanted to include it in the 1800 Lyrical Ballads, but it was not yet finished; it was still incomplete when he finally published it in 1816.
In 1816 he published this fragment and a preface, in which he insisted on the poem's originality despite its similarities to other stories by Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron.
This is considered to be the first example of lesbian vampires in modern usage. The complete text is available here.
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