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From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology

by Charlotte Montague


There has never before been a time when vampires were quite so fashionable, and paranormal romances featuring them so prolific both in print and on screen.  Here is a whole book all about this phenomenon, tracing it from its earliest roots in world legends, through Dracula, up to the works of writers like Stephanie Meyer.

This is a handsome volume that will look good on any coffee table, illustrated with all manner of film stills, woodcuts, newspaper clippings and photographs.  The pages are smooth and glossy, with red borders and a parchment-like background reminiscent of old books or well-designed websites.  It also does a good job of not only delineating the vampire in belief systems all over the world, but in bringing it up to date with the vampire in a variety of different media.  There are also historical characters such as Gilles de Rais, Countess Bathory and of course Vlad himself, and descriptions of the blood-soaked careers of various 20th century serial killers with a vampiric tendency.  My favorite part of this book, however, has to be the way it looks at the popularity of the myth, why it has endured, and particularly why it is currently so popular, especially with teenage girls.  This gives the reader food for thought and somehow blows a healthy draft of air through the subject, reminding us that it is all just for fun, totally fictional and harmless unless unwisely taken too far.  For a book under 200 pages and with plenty of illustrations, it gives a remarkably balanced and in-depth look at all aspects of the vampire myth.  Highly recommended for any interested parties.

The Book

Sphere (Little, Brown)
4 March 2010
1847444032 / 9781847444035
Non-Fiction / Folklore
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some gory references

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010