Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Books: Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology

'Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology' by Charlotte Montague (author of titles including 'Pirates and Privateers' and 'Lady Charlotte Schreiber's Journals Confidences Of A Collector Of Ceramics And Antiques Throughout Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal') published by Sphere in March 2010 is a comprehensive 192 page hardcover about vampire mythology and its origins. Montague writes about vampire myths and legends, literature, film, vampire-devotees, serial killers and more.

Starting with the very first vampirc creatures in Eastern European folklore and covering everything from El Chupacabra to Elizabeth Bathory to Dracula to Twilight, the book is reasonably in-depth and a really interesting read. Whilst I am not fond of the Twilight books/films, I can understand why Montague chose to include them, as she was trying to illustrate how vampire mythology and the representation of vampires in popular culture have changed over the centuries and the psychology behind these changes. However, books such as Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend' and 'The Vampire Chronicals' by Anne Rice are also given pages and this balances out the two or three pages given to things such as 'Twilight' and 'True Blood'.

Overall, this book is well written and researched, includes many historical facts and fictions from various countries and is very entertaining. One small warning to the squeamish of you out there: the descriptions of the crimes of serial killers such as Peter K├╝rten and Gilles de Rais are quite graphic, but apart from that, I would recommend 'Vampires' to everyone with an interest in the creatures of the night!

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