Books About: Vampires

I feel like vampires are a recurring theme in literature, and have I ever talked about them? Nope. I decided it was time to remedy that, and present to you some of my favourite books that involve vampires.

Vampires have been present in folklore internationally, although not always under the same name. They’re usually defined as undead people who thrive upon the blood of the living. It’s pretty grim, really.

There’s been a lot of debate as to where the word ‘vampire’ actually came from, and I actually just read a really interesting essay here! Some people look to the Slavonic synonym ‘upyr’, which is a derivative of the word for witch. Interesting, right? The perception of this creature has changed so much over time, to the point that we no longer really fear it but heavily romanticise it (okay, Twilight – that was your shout-out.)

I haven’t read a great deal about these creatures, but I really really liked the ones I’ve picked to talk about today, so I hope you enjoy!

1. Dracula – Bram Stoker Duh. The vampire story to end all vampire stories – need I say more? I love the kind of quaint British characters, and the creepy trips to Romania. Vampires make awesome villains!

2. The Infernal Devices – Cassandra Clare This is a little YA urban paranormal trilogy, so while vampires aren’t really the main focus, they do play a vital part in the plot. In these books, vampirism is a demonic illness, which I think is the major difference between them and a more traditional blood-sucker. Also – these vampires aren’t automatically ‘bad guys’, just saying.

3. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson This is a great one! Here there’s not just one vampire, or even a clan, but a whole freaking apocalypse of them. The story follows the last remaining human, holding his own against the sun-fearing monsters. What’s different about this take on the vampire is that it’s very scientific – there’s no real para-normality; the whole thing is more like a virus. Again, these guys are pretty villainous.

4. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter This is actually a collection of short stories that are re-tellings of fairy tales and folkloric beasts (vampires included). The female vampire in ‘The Lady of the House of Love’ has a papery beauty and calculated seductiveness, but what makes her different to the other vampiric interpretations mentioned above is her dependence. She relies not only on her maid, but on the people she feeds upon, and this gives her a kind of twisted innocence.

What other great books about vampires can you recommend? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

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Clockwork Angel and Poetry Part 2

There’s just so much awesome poetry in this novel! Stand by for part 2 of my compilation of poetry mentioned and quoted in Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel.

Paracelsus by Robert Browning – This long poem is based on the life of – you guessed it – Paracelsus. It’s all very philosophical.

Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity;

These are its sign and note and character

Odes by Horace – The Odes are a quartet of lyric poems, written in Latin. Worry not, I went and translated the quote just for you.

Pulvis et umbra sumus.

(We are dust and shadows.)

Boadicea by Alfred Lord Tennyson – It would appear that Mr Will Herondale is a fan of Tennyson’s narrative poetry. No-one’s complaining.

Thine the liberty, thine the glory, thine the deeds to be celebrated,
Thine the myriad-rolling ocean, light and shadow illimitable,
Thine the lands of lasting summer, many-blossoming Paradises,
Thine the North and thine the South and thine the battle-thunder of God.

The Higher Pantheism by Alfred Lord Tennyson – More Tennyson! I really love this poem though – and it’s even of a reasonable length!

The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains,-
Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns?
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti – This is another long poem, but quite a fun one to read.
We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?
That’s a wrap for the poetry in Clockwork angel Part 2. Stay tuned for more installations!
As usual, I’d love to hear whether these poems float your boat.
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!
~Dani