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From Demons to Dracula

The common image of the vampire, created by the films of Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi, and the fiction of Bram Stoker, is of a caped and fanged being with a penchant for virgins' blood, generally found fluttering around graveyards at night in the form of a bat. But how much of this is actually true? From demons of the ancient world, to classical myth, to the witch trials and plagues of the Middle Ages, and from the folklore of Transylvania to Whitby and Bram Stoker's Dracula, "From Demons to Dracula" traces the fascinating history of one of mankind's most infamous creatures.Matthew Beresford reveals the continuous evolution of the vampire myth, beginning with its earliest demon form in the ancient world, to the myths of Greece, Egypt and Rome, to the vampire epidemics of eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, through the Gothic literature of Victorian England and on to Hollywood's screen adaptations, culminating in recent blockbusters such as "Underworld", "Nightwatch", and "Blade". Also reviewing the historical Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, Beresford shows how the vampire has evolved into an iconic creature instantly recognised in modern society. "From Demons to Dracula" contains something for archaeologists and historians; for folklorists and anthropologists; for those interested in literature or the cinema; for sociologists and psychologists; for Goths, Death Metallers and night-dwellers everywhere; and perhaps most importantly, for anyone who wishes to understand the very nature of humanity's constant obsession with life, death and the afterlife.The vampire is a figure that has compelled since earliest times; Dracula itself has never been out of print since its release in 1897. The numerous movie and television adaptations that still abound, from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", to films such as "30 Days of Night" to the recent bestselling novel "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova, will only help to perpetuate interest in those creatures cursed to live forever in the night.
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About the Author

Matthew Beresford is a writer and archaeologist based in Bolsover, Derbyshire.


Please visit the From Demons to Dracula website here 'The vampire of antiquity was a ghost, who became enfleshed as the revenant, the ghoul; then, particularly in eastern Europe, it turned into a blood-sucker. Under the ministrations of western novelists, he pupated into the seductive, cape-wearing aristocrat of modern myth. This process Matthew Beresford delineates with great clarity ... fascinating. Independent on Sunday Aficionados of vampire culture will probably find little to surprise them in this fascinating study, but the rest of us will remain gripped throughout ... This is a fun study but it's also, as Beresford says, a study in our fears, and ultimately, our fear of death. The Herald, Glasgow

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