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A History of the Undead (Paperback)

Mummies, Vampires and Zombies

Ancient History P&S History Social History

By Charlotte Booth
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526769060
Published: 9th February 2021

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Are you a fan of the undead? Watch lots of Mummy, zombie and vampire movies and TV shows? Have you ever wondered if they could be 'real'?

This book, A History of the Undead, unravels the truth behind these popular reanimated corpses.

Starting with the common representations in Western Media through the decades, we go back in time to find the origins of the myths. Using a combination of folklore, religion and archaeological studies we find out the reality behind the walking dead. You may be surprised at what you find.

I liked the way the author wrote the chapters as individual essays, because they can be dipped into, and the illustrations. It is a good introduction to the subject, and the author states that it is an introduction not the be-all-end-all on the subject.

Rosie Writes...

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating look into the history of mummies, zombies and vampires. Lots of facts about finds, films and more. Well worth a read if you enjoy the undead!

I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.

NetGalley, Samantha Stroud

This is a really useful source book for Games Masters seeking reference material to expand on the undead genre and provide something a little out of the ordinary for their players. It allows you to tailor the myths to particular countries and time periods and provides some great seeds for scenarios.

Customer Review

It's a well researched, entertaining and interesting book that I enjoyed.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

As stated in the subtitle, this book examines mummies, vampires, and zombies. For each of those three topics, the book delves into their portrayal in popular culture and the historical underpinnings for each type of monster. For vampires, there is an additional chapter about people who have chosen to pursue the vampire lifestyle.

While I enjoyed the pop culture chapters the most - movies, books, television, etc. - I was surprised at how much I learned from the historical section on mummies. Before reading this book, I'd never have suspected that ground up mummies were so popular for medicinal purposes that a shortage of available mummies resulted in the mummification of freshly dead human and animal corpses. I also know more now about the history of voodoo zombification and the burial/re-burial of suspected vampires than I did beforehand.

NetGalley, Chris Owens

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a really interesting read! As someone interested in things that go bump in the night, it was a nice change to read something other than vampire romance.

The book is very well written, with chapters on each subject which I loved, as sometimes it's easy to get lost when all the information is mixed together.

5 stars, will definitely purchase a copy!

NetGalley, Jasmine Nightingale

A History of the Undead is a great book on everything undead. From pop media, to cultural phenomenon, to ancient myths and superstitions, this book has everything you need to know about zombies, vampires, and mummies. Many basic myths and superstitions about these restless souls are covered, as well as many other fascinating facts that are not as commonly known.

Charlotte Booth clearly demonstrates she is a tour de force on all things undead. Of course the mainstays are covered from pop culture like Bram Stoker's Dracula, Dawn Of The Dead, Twilight, The Mummy, Nosferatu, Vlad The Impaler, Walking Dead, and everything in between. There is also a lot of history into the processes that were created and the beliefs that were held that eventually propelled these creatures to what we know them as today. With Zombies originating in Haitian history and culture, mummies of course being mysterious enigmas with terrifying curses wrote amongst their tombs, to the belief of individuals raising from the dead and strangling their neighbors and stealing their life-forces.

This intriguing and fun history will have you turning page after page, devouring the knowledge of the undead like a zombie devouring brains.

NetGalley, Martin Van Beek

About Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth is a freelance writer with a PhD in Egyptology. She has had numerous books and articles published on all aspects of Egyptology and lives in Wiltshire with her partner, her Bengal cat and the escapologist hamster.

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