Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781861894038 Published December 2008 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $14.48 to $24.95 ISBN: 9781861897428 Published December 2008

From Demons to Dracula

The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth

Matthew Beresford

From Demons to Dracula
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Matthew Beresford

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 50 halftones | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2008
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781861894038 Published December 2008 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $14.48 to $24.95 ISBN: 9781861897428 Published December 2008
In blood-soaked lore handed down the centuries, the vampire is a monster of endless fascination: from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this seductive lover of blood haunts popular culture and inhabits our darkest imaginings. The cultural history of the vampire is a rich and varied tale that is now ably documented in From Demons to Dracula, a compelling study of the vampire myth that reveals why this creature of the undead fascinates us so.

Beresford’s chronicle roams from the mountains of Eastern Europe to the foggy streets of Victorian England to Hollywood, as he investigates the portrayal of the vampire in history, literature, and art. Opening with the original Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, and his status as a national hero in Romania, he endeavors to winnow out truths from the complex legend and folklore. From Demons to Dracula tracks the evolution of the vampire as an icon and supernatural creature, drawing on classical Greek and Roman myths, witch trials and medieval plagues, Gothic literature, and even contemporary works such as Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian.  Beresford also looks at the widespread impact of screen vampires from television shows, classic movies starring Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee, and more recent films such as Underworld and Blade.  Whether as a demon of the underworld or a light-fearing hunter of humans, the vampire has endured through the centuries, the book reveals, as powerfully symbolic figure for human concerns with life, death, and the afterlife.

A wide-ranging and engrossing chronicle, From Demons to Dracula casts this blood-thirsty nightstalker as a remarkably complex and telling totem of our nightmares, real and imagined.
 
Independent on Sunday

"The vampire of antiquity was a ghost, who became enfleshed as the revenant, the ghoul; then, particularly in eastern Europe, it turned into a blood-sucker. Under the ministrations of western novelists, he pupated into the seductive, cape-wearing aristocrat of modern myth. This process Matthew Beresford delineates with great clarity . . . fascinating."

The Herald | Glasgow

“Aficionados of vampire culture will probably find little to surprise them in this fascinating study, but the rest of us will remain gripped throughout . . . This is a fun study but it's also, as Beresford says, a study in our fears, and ultimately, our fear of death.”

Contents
Introduction
 
1  The Ancient World: Origins of the Vampire
2  The Vampire in Prehistory: Early Ideas on Death and Burial
3  Historical Roots: The Vampire in the Middle Ages
4  Vampiric Haunts #1: Transylvania, Romania
5  The Historical Dracula: Vlad III Tepes
6  From Myth to Reality: The Vampire of Folklore
7  A Fiend is Born: The Vampire in Literature
8  Vampiric Haunts #2: Whitby, North Yorkshire, England
9  Phantasmagoria: The Modern Vampire
10 Vampiric Haunts #3: Highgate Cemetery, London, England
 
Conclusion: A Dark Reflection of Human Society?
 
Appendix
References
Select Bibliography
Websites and Media
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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