Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview

Before Twilight and True Blood, even before Buffy and Anne Rice and Bela Lugosi, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers everywhere indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula.

Michael Sims brings together the very best vampire stories of the Victorian era-from England, America, France, Germany, Transylvania, and even Japan-into a unique collection that highlights...
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Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories

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Overview

Before Twilight and True Blood, even before Buffy and Anne Rice and Bela Lugosi, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers everywhere indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula.

Michael Sims brings together the very best vampire stories of the Victorian era-from England, America, France, Germany, Transylvania, and even Japan-into a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety. Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait" and Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" to Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla" and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's "Good Lady Ducayne." Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and rounds out the collection with Stoker's own "Dracula's Guest"-a chapter omitted from his landmark novel.
Vampires captivated the Victorians, as Sims reveals in his insightful introduction: In 1867, Karl Marx described capitalism as "dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor"; while in 1888 a London newspaper invoked vampires in trying to explain Jack the Ripper's predations. At a time when vampires have been re-created in a modern context, Dracula's Guest will remind readers young, old, and in between of why the undead won't let go of our imagination. Readers of Dracula's Guest may also enjoy Michael Sims' most recent collection, The Dead Witness: A Connossieur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sims, editor of this brilliant collection, gathers stories of the undead written during what he loosely terms the Victorian era…. the bloodsuckers presented here are predators who can be turned away only by Christian symbols, garlic, and little else. Do not expect sparkling Twilight vampires or even the good-guy types that sometimes appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. An excellent addition to popular fiction and literature collections.” —Library Journal (starred review)

Dracula’s Guest invokes the dangerous shadows of Victorian culture, those dark places where passion, terror, pathos, and sorrow mingle and merge. Gathering together canonical works along with less familiar knock-out masterpieces, Michael Sims has produced an anthology designed to keep us all up at night.”—Maria Tatar, professor and chair of the program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, author of The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales and Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood

“In this fine new anthology, Michael Sims brings to bear his extensive knowledge of Victorian tales and their tellers on the vampire genre. Despite the title, Sims’s nets have caught fascinating material that pre-dates Dracula and the Victorians. Some will be familiar (excerpts from works by the Abbé Calmet, Lord Byron, John Polidori, and Varney the Vampire, for example), but other authors and stories will be new to many, revealing an unexpected depth and breadth to the thrall of the undead. With a thoughtful introduction to the volume as well as each story, this book belongs in the crypt of every student of the creatures of the night!”—Leslie S. Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Dracula and The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

“Everyone loves a good vampire story, but it takes a true aficionado with an insatiable thirst for knowledge to ferret out the roots of these monsters’ enduring appeal. There is no better guide to the natural history and mythology of the Undead than Michael Sims.”—Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Physics of the Buffyverse and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802778987
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,217,330
  • File size: 690 KB

Meet the Author

Michael Sims
Michael Sims is the author of, most recently, The Story of Charlotte's Web and The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories. He is also author of he acclaimed Apollo's Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form, and editor of the recent The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime: Con Artists, Burglars, Rogues, and Scoundrels from the Time of Sherlock Holmes. He lives in western Pennsylvania.
Michael Sims is the author of four nonfiction books: Darwin's Orchestra, Adam's Navel, Apollo's Fire, and a companion book to the National Geographic Channel series In the Womb: Animals. His three previous literary collections include The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel, The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, and Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Thief. His writing has appeared in many periodicals in the U.S. and abroad, including New Statesman, Washington Post, Orion, American Archaeology, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others. He speaks often at colleges and other institutions and has appeared on many TV and radio programs, from CBS's Early Show and Inside Edition to a BBC Radio series about the human body. His Web site is www.michaelsimsbooks.com. 
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Victorian Vampire Compendium

    Review abased on ARC.

    This is an excellent introduction/compendium of victorian (as well as some pre-victorian and post-victorian) vampire stories.

    Michael Sims does a superb job of not only gathering some of the most noteworthy and influential pieces of the genre, but he introduces the work as a whole and each piece with aplomb.

    I typically do not read the introduction to a book until after I've read the book (and only then if I feel that it's "worth my time"). I know that this is counter-intuitive, but generally I want to read the work without someone else's opinion about the work first. (I typically do not read reviews until after I've read the book either.)

    In this case, however, I read the introduction as it was meant to be read -- first. What a wonderful introduction. I have dog-earred many pages (I know, gasp!) in the intro for me to follow up on and read more about the topic. I also note that Sims explains his choices effectively and intriguingly. I could not wait to get started.

    The stories themselves are wonderful. They represent true vampire culture and fears in the earlier times and we are able to see the morphing of the culture of vampire lore.

    All in all, excellent choices and excellent work.

    I would not recommend this book to people who think that Twilight is the end-all of vampire tales. But for those of you who are interested in the backdrop of current lore, the history, the progression, and are willing to take the time and energy to read victorian style prose... by all means, sink your teeth in...

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    For Victorian Story Lovers

    I have always loved reading about vampires. I have read a lot of the fictional stories, both young adult and adult, and I have read the non-fictional encyclopedias and history of vampire lore as well. This book combines a bit of both. With each story there is an introduction of the author and where each of these stories came from or how they were conceived. Some are based off of stories they had heard, newspaper articles, and some are purely from the imagination.

    A few of the stories were stand-outs for me. What Was It? By Fitz-James O'Brien, The Family of the Vourdalak by Aleksei Tolstoy and of course Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker. Many of the other stories were nearly coma-inducing bores. I have never wanted to doze off so often when reading, but I found that nearly each time that I picked up this book that was what was happening. The stories couldn't hold my interest for long enough and many of them are quite short, so I can understand why a number of them have never been well known works.

    Some of the background information on the stories and the authors hype the actual stories up so much that I was getting excited to read each story, but in the end this left me feeling deceived and disappointed. This book is best for the vampire lover that only wants to read historical fiction and doesn't ever tire of it. I apparently need a bit more of a mix to keep things interesting and to keep me involved in the stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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