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A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture (Kindle)

Love at First Bite

P&S History Social History Victorian Era

By Violet Fenn
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 48.4 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781526776648
eBook Released: 4th May 2021

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Our enduring love of vampires - the bad boys (and girls) of paranormal fantasy - has persisted for centuries. Despite being bloodthirsty, heartless killers, vampire stories commonly carry erotic overtones that are missing from other paranormal or horror stories.

Even when monstrous teeth are sinking into pale, helpless throats - especially then - vampires are sexy. But why? In A History Of The Vampire In Popular Culture, author Violet Fenn takes the reader through the history of vampires in ‘fact’ and fiction, their origins in mythology and literature and their enduring appeal on tv and film. We’ll delve into the sexuality - and sexism - of vampire lore, as well as how modern audiences still hunger for a pair of sharp fangs in the middle of the night.

Violet's new book is one to sink your teeth into

Shropshire Star 10/05/21

Honestly I really enjoyed this book, it reminded me of the best modules of my university days and reminded me of how much I love vampire media. It is an excellent ‘beginners’ book to the history of the vampire, great for inspiring a deeper dive into one or more of the movies, books and folk tales mentioned within. More experienced readers in the topic will be unlikely to find anything particularly new here, but it is good fun!

NetGalley, Charlotte Blackwell

Oh my gosh. This book was a delight! It was my first book by Violet Fenn but I have been reading and enjoying P&S the history of books just lately. I have to say of the ones I’ve read this is definitely one of the more interesting ones and I loved Fenn’s style.

NetGalley, Kay Parker

Violet Fenn’s love for the vampire shines through in this marvellous 165-page hardback, complimented by a selection of photos and artwork, and is difficult to put down once you start exploring the theme. Her attention to detail and analysis of various depictions through pop culture makes you see things from a different perspective and invites you to appreciate the vampire characters in cinema much more than you may already do. For any film or literary fan, this book is a worthy talking piece, especially for those who like to dissect and analyse film (as we do here at HCF). Whilst I’ve always been a fan of vampires, on and off the screen, this book has made me love them even more. Reading Fenn’s breakdown of the genre has encouraged me to assess the various characteristics and drives of my favourite fictional vampires, to see how each differentiate in order to build a more complex character than I may have first perceived. It certainly makes me want to revisit some of my favourite vampire films so that can I appreciate them with an entirely new perspective.

If you crave a book you can sink your teeth into that provides a thoughtful, well-researched and passionate, insightful exploration of the vampire genre, I can heartily recommend A HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE IN POPULAR CULTURE.

Read the full review here

Horror Cult Films

This book went into so much depth and I really enjoyed that! It was informative but not boring and overall, a very entertaining read!!! Loved it and definitely recommend!

NetGalley, Francesca Chiru

A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture is a fascinating and enthusiastic deep-dive into vampire lore in popular culture which will hold revelations even for those already deep into the lore.

NetGalley, Juli Rahel

An interesting and informative book. I learned something new and found it entertaining and well written.
Recommended.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

*4.5 stars*

Detailed and wildly entertaining…

Ahh, vampires. Sexy, scary, and all things in between, if you read, watch movies or spend any time on the internet you don’t have to go far to find them. While I’ve stayed on the lighter side of these books and movies, the interpretations of what and who they are seem endless. This book gathers many of these familiar stories and interpretations together in one volume while also digging deeper into how they came to be part of the human experience. From folk legends to centuries old history, there is familiar as well as brand new material here, waiting to be explored…

I loved how this author loved this subject! She admitted her fascination with all things goth and subsequently vampires, and her enthusiasm was infectious. From surprising quotes and tidbits, to common knowledge, it was all woven together into a non-academic but in-depth dive into vampires and their impact, and depth, in pop culture (today and times gone by). There is a raft of references and I will be using that to add to my TBR and TBW lists for sure.

If you are looking for a detailed (not dry), personal (fun to read), book on this subject, I would definitely recommend this one.

NetGalley, Diane Radtke

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was an interesting read. Loved reading about the different versions of vampires over the course of several years and books, and other sources. I would tell my friends and family who are into vampires to check it out.

NetGalley, Joel Harris

This book provides a comprehensive, up to date introduction to the the inclusion of vampires in media, from the early Gothic influence to Dracula (which formed the blueprint for all subsequent vampire stories) to the more modern takes, like Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Twilight. While not exhaustive, I like how the text explores its rise in literature, then how said literature influenced film and television, whether in the form of adaptations or just works inspired by the overall aesthetic. I also appreciate the inclusion of an interview with a musician who embraces the Gothic aesthetic. This is definitely a work that will delight many fans of the vampire and its many media appearances throughout history.

NetGalley, Courtney Tonokawa

This is a very well written and researched deep dive into many aspects of Vampires and how vampires are used in popular culture depictions. Personally, I loved both discussion on the historical vampire accounts and how vampires are used in movies and TV shows. The vampire mythos is constantly changing and there seems to be something for everyone even if you personally don’t agree with all of the depictions. I think this would be a great book for anyone that is fascinated by vampires and vampire fiction.

NetGalley, Allie Seale

Fenn's texts provides interesting information on different aspects of vampirism as well as the likely cause for their associations. It delves into the history of vampires and the many stories and myths dating back as early as the 1700s, if we exclude mythologies involving vampire-like creatures or illnesses associated with vampire folklore. It covers films from the multiple versions of "Dracula" to the "Twilight" series in a fresh and enlightening way.

NetGalley, Maria Dorado

This is an entertaining and engaging look into the vampire in popular culture, both today and throughout the past several hundred years. From Lord Byron and Bram Stoker to Twilight and Buffy, what is it that makes us drawn to vampires? How have our views of them changed over the centuries and why? Violet Fenn looks into history to see how social, cultural and sexual changes have influenced the appeal of vampires. It isn’t just an overview of Fenn’s favorite movies and books- there are plenty of explorations into those she doesn’t like if she feels that the vampire representation is important. Although the book was a bit repetitive in its writing on occasion, Fenn’ s unabashed love of and interest in her subject comes through each page. Her sense of humor and personal thoughts and opinions are highly enjoyable to read and overall this was a fun look into the never ending question of why we remain so fascinated with vampires.

NetGalley, Anne Morgan

This is going to be going in my top books I have read this year, I loved how Violet Fenn got me thinking about why I love vampires. Though it did take me a few pages to really get into the book but after that I was hooked. I recommend this to anyone who loves vampires and want to know why we love them. I will be picking up Violet Fenn other book soon and will read anything else they write.

NetGalley, Elizabeth Neill

It was a great read for those who love reading anything that deals with vampires just like me , this book is also perfect for those who love to watch vampire movies which is other thing I love, and I give points to the author for putting this together. Because not only do you learn of vampire history, but you also get to learn abut their origins in mythology and literature and their enduring appeal on television and films and vampire lore . But the biggest win for me was the references she made to books and movies , some I knew and others I didn't , and after reading this I want to go and watch some of the movies she named which is great because I love old moves and those are the ones I might end up watching like Dracula ( which not only one of my all time favorite books but movie as well )

NetGalley, Elizabeth Means

This book is so well written!!! I really enjoyed it and I think it is quite a fun book to everybody who loves vampires and want to know more on how they are portrayed.

NetGalley, Beatriz Sousa

This book is a fun easy read a dive into Vampires in popular culture.With lots of good stories from history. The authors obviously dislike off twilight is throughout 😂.I have a whole heap of book and movies to read and watch from the references made in book all listed at the end.

NetGalley, Lucy Stewart

A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture by Violet Fenn is a fun and informative look at the various incarnations of the vampire in popular culture as well as some thoughts about why we continue to enjoy them. What it says about us in relation to the changing presentation of the vampire.

NetGalley, Jack Messer

A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture is just that - it explores the history and origin of the vampire and how the rules of the creature of changed. The book looks into vampires of specific movies and tv shows and even comic book and songs. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in vampires.

NetGalley, Sarah Watson

In the author’s own words, Dracula “…is all of us – our innermost desires and dreams and fears, pulled together and brought to life in an overwhelming mixture of terror and lust.” Ms. Fenn presents her subject with a touch of wit, sure to keep readers entertained. Four stars.

NetGalley, Dee Arr

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A great, engaging account of historic note - I absolutely adored this book and it’s in depth look at vampires and how they came to be such a staple in pop culture! It’s also a beautifully book, gorgeous in any collection for your bookcase.

I love how the author also looked into sexism, and how dead bodies were misidentified as coming to life. It grounded the accounts told in the book. Overall, I would recommend this to horror and history fans of all types!

NetGalley, Alayna Romo

It's a fascinating dissection of the myth behind vampires and their ilk. Go on, it won't bite!!

NetGalley, Zee Azadi

This was so up my street! I have loved Vampires ever since I was a child. I mean, who doesn't love a Vampire?
This book was brilliant! Not only did it look at some of the folklore, origins and rules about Vampires throughout the world and throughout the years. But, it also used specific popular culture references to explain various points about Vampires too. It looked at poetry, artwork, literature, films and music.
I learnt so much! Brilliantly written, and incredibly fascinating.

NetGalley, Kate Henderson

In this book, the author takes us on a journey to the beginning of all vampire stories as we know and love them today. From classics like Lord Byron or Horace Walpole to today's vampire in TV, music and even musicals.
The author not only includes folklore and historical cases of "vampirism", but also tries to explain psychologically why the myth does not cease to fascinate us even after more than 150 years in literature and modern media.
A must-read for every vampire fan.

NetGalley, Raphaela Hußmann

A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture is absolutely fascinating. Until now, I had not thought much about the vampire . . . except for when I am reading about one . . . or a family of them. How intrigued I was to learn that there are different species of vampires! For anyone who has enjoyed tales such as Dracula, Interview With the Vampire, and even Twilight, throw yourself into this book and learn more about the vampire!

NetGalley, Bethlynne Pickens

This book opened my eyes to the world of Vampires, and I think it was a great introductory start to someone like me, who knows little to nothing about them. Not only has this book given me a huge insight to the culture surrounding these dark creatures, it has also given me a huge list of films and books that I want to read - I can feel a vampire obsession brewing!

NetGalley, Laura Devitt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely LOVE this book. It has so much information about vampires and various vampire tropes throughout the history of media. I am definitely going to use this book as a reference for my own writing.

NetGalley, Kaitlyn Fisk

This is an entertaining, comprehensive and intelligently written compendium/critique which is a must for all vamp lovers. And omg she is SO RIGHT about Twilight. Ugh.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to my coffin...

NetGalley, Ophelia Sings

In general, this book is a fun exploration into the world of vampires, and the larger implication of vampires in popular culture. Firstly, I am so glad this book did not end up as "Yea this whole thing started from Dracula" because that is simply not true. Vampires have been around for as long as superstition has been around. I really loved how the author connected the human psyche and experience to the creation and propagation of the myth. It's so easy to just say, "Yea vampires are sexy" but that can't just be the bare bones of the popularity. Fenn talks about the eroticism of vampires, but also the implications of life and death, as well as the male and female and experience. Highly recommend it as a fun non-fiction read.

NetGalley, Imman Shah

This is a book that I found interesting and also thought-provoking giving an insight into the authors' thoughts on the legend of the vampire. It is one I would recommend.

NetGalley, Yvonne Bastian

I enjoyed reading the book, it was informative and interesting read. The conclusion wrapped up the themes nicely in a satisfying way.

NetGalley, Bohdana Panchyshyn

An entertaining look into the history of vampires throughout film, novels, and television. The author offers their witty commentary while providing contextual information for a variety of films, television, and books...
A great read for any vampire fan(g)s!

NetGalley, Julia Brennan

Vampires are one of pop culture's most enduring mythological figures, and the possibilities for new types of stories and new lives to give them seems virtually endless. Whether they're enticingly beautiful and seductive or repulsive creatures of the shadows, we return to them again and again. Violet Fenn's History of the Vampire in Popular Culture attempts to examine what about them appeals to us so enduringly by looking at some of her favorite (and not so favorite) examples in literature, film, television, and music. She also weaves in examples of the vampiric myth from all around the world, and interviews several fascinating people, from prominent figures in the Goth scene to descendants of Bram Stoker himself.

NetGalley, Katelyn Nelson

I really love this book it was so informed about how we view vampire's and I found a lot I didn't know about, it's interesting how we view them, how things changed from century to century.

NetGalley, Jennifer Holguin

This is an intriguing and fascinating dive into vampire the myth the legend in popular culture. And one that will find great interest from avid fans of that culture.

NetGalley, Zoe Radley

A great guide to vampire origins and how the idea of vampires has gained speed and ground throughout the years. For anyone who is intrigued by mystical history and the vampire legend!

NetGalley, Ruth Parker

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been a big fan of Vampires for years and some of my favourite movies include such classic vampires like Dracula, Lesat, Martin and of cause can't forget Edward? Or let's take the other media TV Series we have great Vampires like Barnabas, Angel, Spike, Nick Knight, Mick ST John. Seems everywhere you look there is a new Vampire movie or TV series being made.

So based on that and the fact that two years ago I did a horror marathon and watched 98 horror films and 65 of them happened to be based on Vampires while 30 of them were Dracula I knew I had to read this book.

I was not disappointed from the first page right too the last one I was interested in and invested this book. I even learnt stuff I didn't know like how vampires came to be the the history behind them (I never had dug that far back before) I was also really pleased to see Carmilla was mentioned in here too.

If you love vampires then this is a no brainer GET THIS BOOK you will not regret it at all.

NetGalley, Joshua Coupland

This is an interesting and informative look into the popularity and persistence of the vampire in Western popular culture. It presents some really great thinking points and is well written and well-researched.

NetGalley, Molly Trammell

From Dracula to True Blood and so many other works in literature, film and television, book does what it says on the tin. Pop culture is rife with vampires and all the different forms these supernatural creatures have taken over the centuries and this book explores many of them. She goes in on certain myths of women bathing in blood and how these people have influenced vampiric women over the years. If you’re interested in a fresh take on vampires in media, I recommend this book.

NetGalley, Joanna Pentikis

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a great nonfiction vampire book, I learned a lot from it and never felt bored when reading this. The author was able to create a interesting book and I enjoyed reading this.

NetGalley, Kay McLeer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I started reading this book and was quickly impressed with the author's way of talking about the subject. I read very few vampire stories these days but will still pick one up once in awhile. This book was interesting and a true reading delight. Written in a way that kept my interest and far from being encyclopedic that it made it a joy to read.

NetGalley, Norma Carroll

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I was excited to get started with this because I became a huge vampire fan when Twilight came out and have continued with the vampire genre in books. This book takes you through the history of vampires in Pop Culture. What was my favorite part about the book? All of the new things that I did learn about vampire genre. What did I take away from it? A lot. A lot more than I expected. Hopefully new soon to be favorite movies, new places to visit and most importantly a favorite new author.

NetGalley, Karen Murzynsky

Sure to be go-to, essential reference material for those seeking a broad view of vampires in pop culture. Reads easily and offers a wide-variety of Nosferatu-themed lore with supporting discourse

NetGalley, Frannie Cassano

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Being human is never easy. No wonder, then, that so many of us see the vampires - forever dark and different - as our one true love."
In this book, we take a walk down of vampire history, looking at their origins in mythology and literature and their enduring appeal on television and film. We meet computer-generated vampires who try to live a wholesome, ethical life and look at the sexuality - and sexism - of vampire lore. This book is intended as an overview of how vampires are portrayed in popular culture.
The author starts with a source of the name and how is the term used. Book gives you a view of the ways we have viewed and perceived vampires over the centuries, with a focus on their presence in popular media across the last 200 years. It also describes how vampires have always existed in our heads.
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood".
In the book, there are also a lot of interesting stories that might or might not be true. The stories just got you thinking about the existence of vampires. The author also did a lot of research about the emergence of vampires through the centuries. There are included many facts about vampires and how to kill them. There is also a lot of connection with religion how as Christianity has been the major religion in the western world for most recorded history.
We have been attracted to vampires for long as they have existed in the human consciousness and perhaps our love of vampires is in itself a type of kink.
"Watching everyone and everything I ever know or love wither and die? That's a punishment, not a prize".

I really enjoyed reading this book.

NetGalley, Tadeja Kuhar

I don't envy any author the task of writing a history of the Vampire in Popular Culture because it is such a broad subject, and what people think of the broad works contained within it is so subjective.

That said, I feel like Violet Fenn does a great job. Her obvious enthusiasm for the topic leaps off the page - and it is an infectious enthusiasm. It seems like a very personal book - certainly a labour of love - the author states that she's cherry picked the examples of vampires in popular culture to illustrate what she's talking about. This means that I've found lots of new films and books to watch surrounding Vampires - but also some omissions (there's a chapter called The Vampire Next Door but no mention of one of my favourites - Fright Night 😢🧛).

To be fair, the author states early on that the book is intended as an overview rather than a chronology or encyclopaedia - and the book is indeed very accessible and light enough to enjoy. It's definitely a great place to start for people new to the genre and the filmography and bibliography at the end of the book make for a great resource.

And one more plus, I don't live too far from Anfield Crem - as soon as lockdowns allow - I'm off to explore!

NetGalley, Allan Heywood

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The author looks at some really good books and films, with also some rather poor ones, and thus injects some humour into the subject. We also even look into the world of vampire musicals, something that I must admit that I was not even aware of. By tackling the subject in such a way as Fenn has done this means that we are always kept entertained, and we are also given some urban myths, plus the unusual well documented case of children on the hunt for a vampire.

With a bibliography, index and pictures this book has more than enough to keep you reading and perhaps the best way to describe this book as a whole would be to think of Lucy Worsley if she had suddenly become a goth. There are also interviews with various people known in the goth and vampire world. In all then an enjoyable and fascinating look at a subject that more often than not is overlooked.

NetGalley, Martin Dowden

This was a very interesting book. I liked how it jumped around in vampire pop culture. It was short enough to keep me entertained while still being fun.

NetGalley, Lexi Stankewitz

About Violet Fenn

VIOLET FENN has always been fascinated by history and human behaviour. She specialises in lighthearted and entertainingly straightforward investigations into the changing cultural attitudes towards sex and mortality. Her previous titles include Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain and A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture. She was once turned down for a job as an undertaker's assistant for being 'too interested in death’.


Violet lives in Shropshire with her children, a menagerie of pets and a lot of beautiful yet ultimately pointless clutter. She firmly believes that black is the happiest colour, properly ground coffee is a basic human right and that there is no such thing as too much red lipstick. 

Bram Stoker's Dracula is first published

26th May 1897

Irish writer Bram Stoker published the Gothic horror classic Dracula, which became the basis for an entire genre of literature and films about vampires.


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