Legends of Blood
The Vampire in History and Myth
by Wayne Bartlett and Flavia Idriceanu
October 2006, 232pp, 6x9
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99292-7
$55, £43, 48€, A76

Delves into the myths, legends, literature, and history surrounding that ever-frightening and yet strangely seductive creature, the vampire.

Of all the fictional monsters that have pierced society’s collective consciousness, none has been so persistent or seductive as the vampire. Tales of the undead preying upon the blood of the living have survived in one form or another for thousands of years and across cultures. Legends of Blood traces this fascinating history from the myths of Ancient Greece and Egypt through the Gothic literature of 19th century Europe and up to present day, emphasizing how the tales of this alluring creature tap into humanity’s most basic and primal fears. Wayne Bartlett and Flavia Idriceanu’s highly readable yet impeccably researched book is a must-have for vampire enthusiasts and scholars alike.

Drawing upon such sources as obscure and ancient myths, Romantic literature, and the novels of Anne Rice, Legends of Blood sheds new light on the pervasiveness of the vampire myth. Bartlett and Idriceanu illustrate the relationships that subsist between vampires and witchcraft, religion and sexuality, and show how the myth has adapted to the various intellectual trends of European history. Other topics include real-life vampirism such as the macabre tale of Elizabeth Bathory who murdered some 650 girls and bathed in their blood to restore her legendary beauty.


"This book is sure to please vampire aficionados....Recommended for large public libraries."—Library Journal, January 1, 2007

"In this readable and rich history of vampires, the authors draw on such diverse material as ancient Aztec, Egyptian, and Greek mythologies, religious symbolism, and modern art, literature, television, and movies. There is information here for every level of interest and knowledge base, and it is clear and well organized. Other than being interesting and informative in its own right, what makes this book a great choice for school libraries is its many eclectic citations, from Arthurian legend to J. K. Rowling. Readers whose enthusiasm led them from Buffy, Cirque du Freak, Anne Rice, or Bram Stoker to Legends of Blood are given a large number of options to choose from next."—School Library Journal, March 1, 2007

"Bartlett, a historian specializing in eastern Europe, and Idriceanu, a philologist in Romania, explore historical, literary, and religious origins of some of the features now associated with the vampire legend, and trace the development of those features down the centuries through the evolution of themes and the changes in media. Among their topics are the vampire epidemics, landscapes of magic, the witch, the magus, the power of the mind, and the undead."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007
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