Open graves, open minds

Representations of vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the present day

Edited by Sam George and William Hughes

Open graves, open minds


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9362-7
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: May 2016
  • BIC Category: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Gothic, LITERARY CRITICISM / Gothic & Romance, Fantasy romance, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature, Romanticism


This collection of interconnected essays relates the Undead in literature, art and other media to questions concerning gender, race, genre, technology, consumption and social change.

A coherent narrative follows Enlightenment studies of the vampire's origins in folklore and folk panics, the sources of vampire fiction, through Romantic incarnations in Byron and Polidori to Le Fanu's Carmilla. Further essays discuss the Undead in the context of Dracula, fin-de-siècle decadence, Nazi Germany and early cinematic treatments. The rise of the sympathetic vampire is charted from Coppola's film, Bram Stoker's Dracula, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight. More recent manifestations in novels, TV, Goth subculture, young adult fiction and cinema are dealt with in discussions of True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and much more.

Featuring distinguished contributors, including a prominent novelist, and aimed at interdisciplinary scholars or postgraduate students, it will also appeal to aficionados of creative writing and Undead enthusiasts.


'...the book is highly recommended as a primary reference work on the media vampire.'
Andy Boylan, Taliesin Meets the Vampires blog, 13 March 2015


1. Introduction - Sam George and Bill Hughes
2. The deformed transformed; or, from bloodsucker to Byronic hero: Polidori and the literary vampire - Conrad Aquilina,
3. Sheridan Le Fanu's vampires and Ireland's invited invasion - Julieann Ulin
4. 'He make in the mirror no reflect': Undead aesthetics and mechanical reproduction - Dorian Gray, Dracula, and David Reed's 'vampiric painting' - Sam George
5. The vampire as dark and glorious necessity in George Sylvester Viereck's House of the Vampire and Hanns Heinz Ewers' Vampir - Lisa Lampert-Weissig
6. The Undead in the kingdom of shadows: the rise of the cinematic vampire - Stacey Abbott
7. Crossing oceans of time: Stoker, Coppola and the 'new vampire' film - Lindsey Scott
8. 'I feel strong. I feel different': transformations, vampires and language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Malgorzata Drewniok
9. 'Gothic Charm School; or, how vampires learned to sparkle' - Catherine Spooner
10. A vampire heaven: the economics of salvation in Dracula and Twilight - Jennifer H. Williams
11. The Twilight Saga and the pleasures of spectatorship: the broken body and the shining body - Sara Wasson and Sarah Artt
12. The postmodern vampire in 'post-race' America: HBO's True Blood - Michelle Smith
13. 'Myriad mirrors: doppelgängers and doubling in The Vampire Diaries' - Kimberley McMahon-Coleman
14. The vampire in the machine: exploring the undead interface - Ivan Phillips
15. 'Legally recognised undead': essence, difference, and assimilation in Daniel Waters's Generation Dead - Bill Hughes
16. The elusive vampire: folklore and fiction - writing My Swordhand is Singing - Marcus Sedgwick


Sam George is Senior Lecturer in Literature at the University of Hertfordshire

Bill Hughes was recently awarded his doctorate from the University of Sheffield

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