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Vampires: Encounters with the Undead

Overview

Put your fears aside and step into the realm inhabited by those dark-cloaked creatures of the night known for generations as vampires. They have been worshipped, hunted, mythologized, fantasized about, and feared...and their macabre adventures have been chronicled by some of the world's most imaginative and gifted writers.

According to legend, vampires live forever-and our fascination with them seems equally enduring. Perhaps what springs to mind when you contemplate these ...

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Overview

Put your fears aside and step into the realm inhabited by those dark-cloaked creatures of the night known for generations as vampires. They have been worshipped, hunted, mythologized, fantasized about, and feared...and their macabre adventures have been chronicled by some of the world's most imaginative and gifted writers.

According to legend, vampires live forever-and our fascination with them seems equally enduring. Perhaps what springs to mind when you contemplate these clusive, terrifying creatures is a flickering, black-and white image of Bela Lugosi in full evening attire, gliding down a towering stairease bidding his unwitting guests a civilized "good evening" or, with a swirl of his cape, metamorphosing into a bat and disappearing into the light of a full moon. But if the Hollywood version of Count Dracula is the one most indefibly etched in our minds, it is by no means the first or only incarnation of the vampire to haunt our dreams and capture our imaginations.

In this towering collection, featuring two centuries of spine-tingling literature, lore, ephemera, and history, noted vampire authority David J. Skal takes us on an unprecedented tour through this most captivating of subjects. From classies of the world's literature to pulp magazine serials to actual historical accounts. Skal has packed this volume with great, bloodcurdling writing. There's even an interview with a contemporary, self-confessed blood-drinker!

Every page of Vampires also features a column of commentary by Skal, expanding and reflecting upon the stories and exploring the evolution of the vampire mystique in folklore, literature, and popular culture. Some 200 beautifully rendered black-and-white images, most from Skal's extensive personal collection and ranging from vintage engravings to film stills and posters to pop-cultural artifacts, make this book a true Vampire's Feast.

Do vampires really exist? Says Skal in his introduction. "It should be obvious that vampires prowl the very fabric of modern consciousness... You will have to draw your own conclusions, but I hope this book will provide ample food for thought. And skeptics may be admonished to remember one of Professor Van Helsing's shrewdest observations: 'The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.' Disbelieve, then, at your peril."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579124755
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 1,394,490
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

David J. Skal’s many books include Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, Screams of Reason, and, with Elias Savada, Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning. With Nina Auerbach, he is co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He lives in Glendale, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: "There Are Such Things!" 13
Pt. 1 The Historical Evidence
From The Book of Vampires 17
From The Phantom World 23
Tale of a Russian Vampire 29
Vampires of Roumania 31
Pt. 2 Romantic & Victorian Vampires
The Vampyre: A Tale 37
Loving Lady Death (La morte amoureuse) 53
The Family of the Vourdalak 75
From Varney the Vampyre or, The Feast of Blood 97
Carmilla 103
The Fate of Madame Cabanel 159
A True Story of a Vampire 171
Good Lady Ducayne 179
Dracula's Guest 201
From Dracula 211
Fatal Image: The Artist, the Actress, and the Vampire 223
Pt. 3 Vampires in the Twentieth Century
Luella Miller 261
Count Magnus 273
The Singular Death of Morton 283
For the Blood is the Life 293
The Room in the Tower 305
Vampires 315
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire 321
Bewitched 335
"When She Was Fed": Bela Lugosi's True-Life Vampire Romance 353
The Dark Castle 357
Revelations in Black 369
I, the Vampire 385
The Bat is My Brother 401
The Girl with the Hungry Eyes 417
From I Am Legend 429
Unicorn Tapestry 445
Pt. 4 Postmodern Vampires
From American Vampires 495
An Interview with a "Vampire" 515
Stalking the Vampire 523
Last Call for the Sons of Shock 541
Coppola's Dracula 553
Bela's Plot 595
Acknowledgments 605
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