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The Vampire in Europe: True Tales of the Undead Hardcover – June 29, 1996
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(See "Vampires & Vampirism: Legends From Around the World" by Dudley Wright if you are interested in this aspect of vampirism.)
Summer's was convinced that vampires were real and also creatures in the Devil's service, so, in effect, his books on the subject attempt to convince the reader of his view by presenting them with "evidence" of this sort.
As a whole, the book is an excellent source of knowledge for the budding vampirologist, but I've detracted a point from it, as Summers had the annoying tendancy to quote certain sources for his material in their original language-be it in ancient Greek, Latin etc. without providing any English translation.
Like Sherlock Holmes, Dracula has remained a personal classic. It was therefore a passion of mine to spend many hours in the graduate stacks at the University of Mississippi reading books on vampires and werewolves. I found the folklore and history of such mythological creatures to be an "academic" pursuit while I spent my first year as an EDPA Graduate Fellow working on a history degree. Although I later transferred to educational history, I was fortunate enough to discover Montague Summers. Summers has, according to most historians and folklorists, remained the leading authority on vampires, werewolves and demons. Perhaps the two most important books written on vampires, during the 20th century were The Vampire: His Kith and Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929).
To understand these exceptional works, one must first understand the author. Perhaps no one in the current century is better able to describe Summers than Nigel Suckling:
"Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers (1880-1948) was a fascinating character in himself. Throughout his life he was described by acquaintances as kind, courteous, generous and outrageously witty; but those who knew him well sensed an underlying discomfort and mystery. In appearance he was plump, round cheeked and generally smiling. His dress resembled that of an eighteenth century cleric ... He wore sweeping black capes crowned by a curious hairstyle of his own devising which led many to assume he wore a wig.Read more ›
As an essay it is badly structured because the text rambles off topic recounting many anecdotes unrelated to the specific topic.
The presentation is logically flawed. He appeals to unreliable, biased or fabricated sources to support his fantasy. His reasoning is often circular. He uses the conclusion of his argument as a premise.
The author, Montague Summers, was well known for his idiosyncratic writings and belief in the occult. If you do believe in the occult, you would like this antiquarian book. If not, don't waste time on it; this book is only for those who truly believe in vampires &c.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Vampire in Europe, Summers' second book dealing with vampire folklore, focuses on vampire lore and panics in various specific cultures and times in Europe, including ancient... Read morePublished on September 23, 2005 by An Occult Scholar
Without getting into an academic dissection of their origin and meanings, Montague Summers provides a fairly interesting collection of the stories from the old Europe and the new... Read morePublished on November 4, 2000 by AmazingMrKimble