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Vampires as Political Metaphors Before World War I?

While scanning Amazon.com for vampire books I came across one that I had never heard of before, one that caught my eye. The book is called Blood Will Tell: Vampires as Political Metaphors Before World War I and was written by Sara Libby Robinson, and as the title says, it delves into the world of vampire and politics before World War I. As a lover of vampire history I can’t help but be intrigued by this book, it’s the first time I have come across this mixture of vampires and politics. I have read countless time the ties that vampirism has to the Church, but never politics.

Check out the book description:

“Blood Will Tell explores the ways in which writers, thinkers, and politicians used blood and vampire-related imagery to express social and cultural anxieties in the decades leading up to the First World War. Covering a wide variety of topics, including science, citizenship, gender, and anti-Semitism, Robinson demonstrates the ways in which rhetoric tied to blood and vampires permeated political discourse and transcended the disparate cultures of Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, forming a cohesive political and cultural metaphor. An excellent resource, both for students of nineteenth century cultural history and for those interested in the historical roots of Western fascination with vampires.”

As if I wasn’t interested enough, this review written by Antony Polonsky, Professor at Brandeis University, really makes me want to have a look at this book.

”This fascinating and illuminating book shows clearly how the interest in vampirism which developed in Britain, France, and Germany in the three quarters of a century before the end of the Second World War was linked with the popularisation of a more ‘scientific’ understanding of the human body and the role of blood in it. This development was related both to fears about the advancement of women and to the development of new forms of antisemitism and the book thus makes a major contribution to the crisis of liberal values in the years between 1870 and 1945.”

As much as I would love to read this book, it’s price is a bit steep at $41.30, and the paperback (which hasn’t even been released yet) is $35. Ouch. I’m sure it’s worth the money, but sadly I’ll have to wait on this curious book.

What about you, can you seeing yourself purchasing Blood Will Tell?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).

7 replies on “Vampires as Political Metaphors Before World War I?”

Sounds interesting, I admit. I hope it is not let´s-written-original-story-to-fit-to-my-ideology-type writing a ´la Nina Auerbach. She has eternal trauma of Stoker´s Dracula and how Lucy and Mina were idealized as these keepers of feminine purity in home and hearth. (Think about total antithesis of Valerie Solanas in her potty-mouthed, aggressive, femininity-hating prostitute mould a´la I shot Andy Warhol). So what is girl to do? Rewrite the story to fit her thesis: voilá!

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