LOVE the front cover!
Get it here: Classic Vampire Tales just $5.50…
Check out the contents…
Here’s the beginning of Story #1 … “Wake Not the Dead” by Count Ernst Benjamin Salomo Raupach …
Here’s a note from the editor…
‘From Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula to LJ Smith’s Damon Salvatore, our literature is filled with captivating vampires — pale, preternatural beings who seduce humans to quench their bloody thirst. For many centuries, macabre lore about these irresistible monsters spread by word of mouth and brought communities together. Many are the stories of villages uniting in a desperate attempt to fight unholy evil and save the virtuous. But while these tales were whispered around fire sides for generations, it wasn’t until the 1800s that they were actually written down for ‘secular’ reading.
Around the time that Romanticism took root in the West, skilled writers penned the first vampire fiction, capturing and often re-creating the vampire in forms that have since gripped popular imagination. JW Polodori’s The Vampyre (1819) is considered the first such prose in English and narrates the friendship between a vampire and a young man, with tragic consequences for the latter. This is also the first time we see the vampire as a rich aristocrat who preys on innocents among the elite.
An ode to the romantic era and also a warning to all those who refuse to let go of the past, Ernst Raupach’s Wake Not the Dead (1823) is a thrilling tale of a widower who brings his wife back to life with the help of a magician. Will he be happy with his ‘new’ old wife?
In 19th century France, death was a common phenomenon and something you learned to live with rather than fear. This could be one of the reasons why Theophile Gautier made a young country priest fall madly in love with a femme fatale vampire in Clarimonde (1836). A haunting love story between two opposites, Clarimonde is a reminder that true love is indeed immortal.
Two standout works in this genre and century are undoubtedly ME Braddon’s Good Lady Ducayne (1869) and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1897).
Good Lady Ducayne unveils the parasitic side of the Victorian era, critiquing the inhuman treatment of domestic staff by the aristocrats and their middle-men. Unlike her literary predecessors, Braddon places her story not in the realms of the supernatural, but squarely at the heart of modern society. Her vampire-ish aristocrat is a mirror to the issues of her time.
Another master of short stories, Sheridan Le Fanu published Carmilla some twenty-six years before Stoker’s Dracula. A path-breaking work, it depicts the romance between the titular vampire and the narrator of the story, both of whom are women. Carmilla is a torchbearer to the times when lesbian relationships were considered evil and unnatural.
The last 19thcentury work included in this collection belongs to Eric Stenbock, a Count himself and known for his eccentric lifestyle and delusional ways. Stenbock is said to have been very fond of a life-sized doll, which he kept with him at all times. Traces of this bizarre love can be seen in his fiction, A True Story of a Vampire (1894). In a Styrian castle, a houseguest takes a fancy to the host’s beautiful young son. The boy soon starts losing his vitality, making his sister suspicious of this new ‘friend’. Her shocking discovery of their guest’s true identity takes the story to new and exciting realms.
The 20th century was a period of revolution and innovation. In the history of humankind, it is an era of unparalleled curiosity. Keeping this spirit of discovery at its core, Marion Crawford’s For the Blood is the Life (1905) gives a chilling account of two gentlemen who come across a strange mound on a starry night and find their lives changed forever.
The insecurities and fears of the era are again reflected in EF Benson’s shocking narrative The Room in the Tower (1912). In beautiful prose, Benson talks about a young man and his recurring nightmare about a room. Years later, he stays at a friend’s house for a night and what follows is truly hair-raising by all accounts.
Arguably the best-known author of the genre, Bram Stoker finds mention with his lesser-known tale, Dracula’s Guest (1914). Originally a part of his impeccable work, Dracula, it was removed by his publishers just before it went to press. The story narrates Jonathan Harker’s eerie journey to Dracula’s castle and his growing realization of the Count’s tremendous and terrible powers.
These 10 carefully chosen stories of sweetly seductive, aristocratic and supernatural creatures who set out to corrupt innocent souls with sex and money is sure to keep you enchanted till the end.’
– The Editor (Jaico Publishing House)
(Sources: Amazon.com; Pinterest; http://magiaposthuma.blogspot.com; Wiertz Museum, Brussels)