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The Vampire in Europe: True Tales of the Undead Hardcover – June 29, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Renowned occultist and clergyman Montague Summers explores the realm of Dracula, Anne Rice's INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE and stunning monsters. He comes up with some very shocking possibilities as well as "true tales" of terror from England, Ireland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, et al.

About the Author

Montague Summers wrote or edited numerous classic volumes on witchcraft, demonology, and related topics. His most famous works include THE HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT and DEMONOLOGY, THE GEOGRAPHY OF WITCHCRAFT, and THE VAMPIRE, HIS KITH AND KIN. It becomes clear, as one reads, that Summers truly believed in vampires and supernatural phenomenon in general.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy; First edition. edition (June 29, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517149893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517149898
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,713,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I find this book's description a tad misleading ("Renowned occultist and clergyman Montague Summers explores the realm of...Anne Rice's INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE") as there is no romanticism of the vampire myth here, or stories told from the vampire's point of view. Instead, Summers (1880 - 1948) catalogues instances and beliefs relating to the Undead under the following headings: "THE VAMPIRE IN GREECE AND ROME OF OLD", "THE VAMPIRE IN ENGLAND, AND IRELAND, AND SOME LATIN LANDS", "HUNGARY AND CZECHO-SLOVAKIA", "MODERN GREECE" and "RUSSIA, ROUMANIA AND BULGARIA".
(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.
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Format: Paperback
In 1973, I received a document on Prince Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler. I was later able to translate the 18th century document and turned it into a graduate research paper. It was in that same year that I re-read Bram Stoker's Dracula for the third time.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This book is for people obsessed with the occult. Regular people, who do not actually believe in vampires &c., should give it a pass. This is a famous early text on the vampire myth.

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.
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