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Vampires and Vampirism : Legends from Around the World (Classics of Preternatural History) Pbk Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590210024
ISBN-10: 1590210026
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Editorial Reviews

Review

If you have an intense desire to learn more about the mysteries of the undead, you need this book... --The Stygian Labyrinth

Anyone with even a glimmer of belief in vampires will thoroughly enjoy reading Vampires and Vampirism from Lethe Press --Tara Mahovetz, Horror Books & Movies at About.Com

From the Publisher

This book is the first volume in the Classics of Preternatural History series which explores area of the occult, pseudoscience, and the supernatural that have had a lasting impact upon the history and psyche of civilizations.
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Product Details

  • Series: Classics of Preternatural History (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press; Pbk edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590210026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590210024
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,193,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 19, 2001
I remember discovering monster movies, bag in the days when 50 cents got you into the Saturday show with a bag of popcorn as well. After watching all the ghoulishness on the screen I would search the used book stores for scary stories, and anything that said mummy or vampire in the title. Back in those days books like "Vampires & Vampirism" were making their last rounds - worn volumes on the dusty shelves in the back of the store.
Written first in 1914, and reprinted in 1924, "Vampires & Vampirism" is a classic example of its type. The author, a folklorist and specialist in ancient religions and occult beliefs has compiled out of obscure references and records a huge number of legends about vampire behavior. The book is a confection of such stories, compiled and retold, with the author providing the bare bones framework needed to organize the material and ensure an orderly progression from one to another.
Dudley Wright organizes his reports primarily by country or region. One gets to read of the ancient vampires of Babylonia and Greece, then the scene shifts to Britain, Germany, Hungary, the Balkans, Russia, and the Oriental realms. He even comes up with some modern material in the U.S. Wright is less well organized from a historical viewpoint, but his material covers a period from several millennia B.C. to 1923. Additional chapters discuss the power of excommunication (which is apparently how Vlad the Impaler became Dracula the vampire), living vampires, literary references and a somewhat tedious discussion of whether (or how) vampires existed.
While not a great academic study, the book is more like a compost heap of imaginings waiting for the delectation of the curious, or to feed the fertile imaginations of both readers and authors alike.
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Vampires and Vampirism : Legends from Around the World (Classics of Preternatural History) by Dudley Wright is a book that will forever remain on my bookshelf.
Wright has compiled the legends of the vampire worldwide from the beginning of recorded word until the early 20th century. While slightly dated in language usage (this was first written in 19l4), the book is a throughly good read.
It is a must have for anyone interested in the vampire legend - whether you are just curious or an author looking for a new twist on the vampire myth.
As you read, you have to wonder how many of these stories Bram Stoker heard before he wrote his famous "Dracula". While not necessarily in historical order, all the stories are tied by region. Some are so silly as to be humorous, others will just make you wonder.
I would recommend this book to anyone who even has a passing interest in how the legends began.
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Vampires & Vampirism was first published in 1914. While the style of writing might be a tad outdated and it even talks about the Kaiser's dominions this just adds flavor to this collection of stories and folklore from Europe, Asia, Middle East and even Great Britain. There is even a chapter on vampires in literature which is a great source for early vampire novels. Over 200 pages of great fun.
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This book is full of 'eyewitness accounts' and testimonials of vampirism around the world. It's a pretty damn cool read but it made me wonder if vampires became so popular because they fit the mold of urban legends. Whatever the case, author Wright managed pretty much to cover fiends and ghouls in every land.
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I'm a huge fan of vampire fiction and movies and found this book listed on some websites. When I sat down to read it, I discovered it was a reprint of one of the first serious books on vampirism, so the style and type is old fashioned. Still, it's definitely worth the read. After all, vampires are the most fascinating of all creatures in folklore. I think that it is a very good book for first time vampire readers, and will help dispel the misconception that vampires are all from Central Europe. It was cool to read about British fiends and Persian ghouls.
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