||F. Marion Crawford, a popular romantic novelist of the Victorian period, is mostly remembered for the eight supernatural tales collected in For the Blood Is the Life. As Darrell Schweitzer points out in the introduction, Crawford's stories are admirably straightforward, without the long framing or scene-setting devices common in his day. The tales include ghostly vengeance, a family curse, madness caused by guilt, and terror at sea. The poetic, subtle title story is about a female vampire in southern Italy. Best of all, though, is "The Upper Berth, " which was praised by H. P. Lovecraft as "Crawford's weird masterpiece ... one of the most tremendous horror-stories in all of literature. In this tale of a suicide-haunted stateroom such things as spectral salt-water damage, the strangely open porthole, and the nightmare struggle with the nameless object are handled with incomparable dexterity."