Even in the twenty-first century, the undead walk among us...Before Twilight and True Blood, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula. Acclaimed author and anthologist Michael Sims brings together the finest vampire stories of the Victorian era in a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety. Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Aleksei Tolstoy's tale of a vampire family to Fitz James O'Brien's invisible monster to Mary Elizabeth Braddon's rich and sinister widow, Good Lady Ducayne. Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and finishes the collection with Stoker's own Dracula's Guest - a chapter omitted from his landmark novel. Vampires captivated Victorian society, and these wonderful stories demonstrate how Romantic and Victorian writers refined the raw ore of peasant superstition into a whole vampire mythology of aristocratic decadence and innocence betrayed.
One of a kind: No other collection of classic vampire stories exists. For all ages: Stephanie Meyer/Twilight and True Blood fans alike will enjoy.
'This creepy conoisseur's collection of Victorian vampire stories is PACKED with pointy-toothed blood-suckers and gruesome ghastliness ... Think Christopher Lee in his coffin, red eyes snapping open, dust off your wooden stake and garlic necklace, and blame the 18th century Eastern Europeans whose peasant superstitions spawned the whole gory vampire genre' - Daily Mail 'Long before vampires were sparkly and romantic, they were actually scary. This collection brings together some of the Victorian era's most chilling bloodsucker fiction' - Entertainment Weekly 'Vampire stories didn't begin with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, Anne Rice's bayou bloodsuckers or even Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1897. What one finds, in reading Dracula's Guest, is that these creatures emerged from 18th century accounts of Eastern European peasant superstitions, then got a boost from the Romantic movement... Almost from the beginning, the vampire story wasn't just a creepy encounter with the Other Side; it was thinly veiled erotica. The undead were hot long before Hollywood and the fan obsession surrounding Eclipse, the latest installment in the Twilight series' - Los Angeles Times
Michael Sims is the author of the 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.