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October 18, 2010 / schulerbooks

Get your Halloween On with Dracula’s Guest

Last week we had an intimate, spectacular event with Michael Sims, the editor of Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. (By intimate I mean that the majority of you totally missed out on what was an incredibly interesting event!)

Despite the small crowd, the conversation went on for 2 hours about Victorian vampire legends from a natural history perspective, with many disgusting details about the various states of body decay and other scientific phenomena that help explain some of the fascination the Victorians had with vampires, as well as how the Western vampire mythology evolved (such as the sudden appearance of bats in conjunction with vampires after bloodsucking bats — very few of which actually feed on humans — were discovered in South America).

I’m about halfway through the excellent collection that resulted from Sims’ research. The anthology highlights the broad range of the Victorian era’s vampire stories, each with introductions that explain what makes the story worthwhile. The titular story, which closes out the collection, is actually a chapter from an early draft of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My favorite inclusion so far is The Family of the Vourdalak, a truly bone-chilling story by Aleksei Tolstoy (Leo’s distant cousin) featuring vampires that prefer to feed on and turn their family members.

Pick it up as the perfect Halloween preparatory reading, and check out this sweet blog posting from one of my favorite “bookies,” who attended the reading. 🙂

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One Comment

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  1. Christine / Jan 14 2011 5:25 pm

    I need this collection!

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