What-I’m-Reading-Wednesday: The Universal Vampire: Origins and Evolution of a Legend edited by Barbara Brodman and James E. Doan
Vampires have been all the rage for a while now. The blockbuster Twilight series was just the latest trend in vampires in the modern consciousness. Everyone knows the story Dracula by Bram Stoker and many more know the vampires from Anne Rice. Even now there are several shows on television with vampires as the main characters, The Originals and The Vampire Diaries.
In this book, the editors take a scholarly look at the historical view of the vampire. The book contains 16 scholarly chapters on the history of vampires. The book is divided into four parts. The first part discusses the vampires through the lens of Western European culture. One chapter provides evidence for vampires in Norse-Icelandic Saga literature. The chapter provides the original Norse/Icelandic saga and then translates this into English for the reader. The vampire-like creature was called the Draugr.
The second part of the book looks at possible medical explanations for vampires including lack of medical understanding for some common diseases that we know existed at the time prompted people to believe in vampires. The third part of the book looks at female vampires in literature and how they have been portrayed. Finally, the last section of the book looks at how vampires have been viewed in countries outside of Europe including Mexico, Japan, and Russia.
Each chapter has a bibliography and some have information for further reading if one is interested in learning more about vampires in literature. If you want a scholarly look at the vampire myth then The Universal Vampire: Origins and Evolution of a Legend is for you.
This volume is available to request from the Ort Library catalog here: http://catalog.umd.edu/docno=004455910. Click on “Availability,” the click on the yellow “Request” button. Log in using your first name and 14 digit library barcode from your ID. If you need assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301 687-4395.