Groundbreaking for the time in which they were written, the vampire stories of the 1800s have inspired many modern writers. Enjoy the thrilling stories that originated the genre of vampire fiction. Includes: "The End of My Journey", by Lord Byron (1816); "The Vampyre", by John Polidori (1819); "The Family of the Vourdalak", by Aleksei Tolstoy (1839); "Varney the Vampire", by James Malcolm Rymer (1847); "Carmilla", by Sheridan Le Fanu (1872); "A True Story of a Vampire", by Eric, Count Stenbock (1894); and "Count Magnus", by M. R. James (1904).
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"An heirloom collection of the undead"
"For we knew not the month was October, and we marked not the night of the year." Edgar Allan Poe.
Like many story collections, this one is uneven. Fortunately, most of the stories are good and a few may be great. You'll find your own favorites. My three are "The Vampyre," "Carmilla," and "Count Magnus."
For me, Polidori's "The Vampyre" is a particular treat. It was always fascinating to imagine details about Lord Ruthven and hearing the story read brought him to life. Almost.
Le Fanu's "Carmilla" is a must-listen for any collector of supernatural tales. The female vampire embodies a particular combination of allure and horror.
"Count Magnus" is my favorite M.R. James story, but I've never considered the eponymous character, though undead, to be a vampire. Still, whatever else he might be, he is unforgettable.
Simon Vance's narration is well-suited to the old-fashioned tone and content of this collection.
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