The Vampire: A New History

The Vampire: A New History

by Nick Groom


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An authoritative new history of the vampire, two hundred years after it first appeared on the literary scene

Published to mark the bicentenary of John Polidori’s publication of The Vampyre, Nick Groom’s detailed new account illuminates the complex history of the iconic creature. The vampire first came to public prominence in the early eighteenth century, when Enlightenment science collided with Eastern European folklore and apparently verified outbreaks of vampirism, capturing the attention of medical researchers, political commentators, social theorists, theologians, and philosophers. Groom accordingly traces the vampire from its role as a monster embodying humankind’s fears, to that of an unlikely hero for the marginalized and excluded in the twenty-first century.
Drawing on literary and artistic representations, as well as medical, forensic, empirical, and sociopolitical perspectives, this rich and eerie history presents the vampire as a strikingly complex being that has been used to express the traumas and contradictions of the human condition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300254839
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 538,072
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Nick Groom, known as the “Prof of Goth,” is professor of literature in English at the University of Macao.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix


Foreword xiv

A Note on the Etymology of the Word Vampire xvii

Introduction Creating Thinking with Vampires 1

Part I Circulating: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 21

1 Unearthing the Dead: Medicine and Detection, Body and Mind 23

2 The Lands of Blood: Place and Race, Territory and Travel 41

3 Ghostly Theology: Rational Religion, Spiritual Reason 56

4 The Covenant of the Undead: Catholicism and Enlightenment, Sanctity and Danger 73

Part II Coagulating: The Nineteenth Century to the Present 95

5 The Cultures of Death: Gothic Romanticism, Deathly Words 97

6 Mortal Pathologies: Being Bestial, Living Lies 118

7 Bleeding Gold: Gothic Capitalism and Undead Consumerism 147

8 The Count, Dracula: Smoke and Mirrors - Pen, Paint, and Blood 169

Conclusion Crawling and Creeping Living with Vampires 193

Endnotes 207

Bibliography 248

Index 273

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