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Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden u Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden unleashes something awful from an ancient mausoleum. A psychic detective battles a vampire that has taken refuge in an Egyptian mummy. A nightmare becomes reality in the tower room of a gloomy country house. Including works by both well known writers of the supernatural such as M. R. James and E. F. Benson and less familiar authors like the Australian Hume Nisbet and the American F. Marion Crawford, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of classic tales to chill the blood and tingle the spine.


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Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden u Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden unleashes something awful from an ancient mausoleum. A psychic detective battles a vampire that has taken refuge in an Egyptian mummy. A nightmare becomes reality in the tower room of a gloomy country house. Including works by both well known writers of the supernatural such as M. R. James and E. F. Benson and less familiar authors like the Australian Hume Nisbet and the American F. Marion Crawford, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of classic tales to chill the blood and tingle the spine.

30 review for The Rivals of Dracula: Stories from the Golden Age of Gothic Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    *** Alice & Claude Askew - 'Aylmer Vance and the Vampire' From the brief bio provided about the authors, my first thought was that their lives would make a fantastic historical novel! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_a...) However, this 1914 story is wholly by-the-book. Vance and Dexter are a Holmes and Watson-esque detective pair who specialize in the supernatural. In this story (one of a collection featuring the partners), a young man comes asking for their aid: before he married her, his br *** Alice & Claude Askew - 'Aylmer Vance and the Vampire' From the brief bio provided about the authors, my first thought was that their lives would make a fantastic historical novel! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_a...) However, this 1914 story is wholly by-the-book. Vance and Dexter are a Holmes and Watson-esque detective pair who specialize in the supernatural. In this story (one of a collection featuring the partners), a young man comes asking for their aid: before he married her, his bride told him her family was afflicted by a vampiric curse. He pooh-poohed the superstitious idea - but now that his health is failing, and his wife refuses to leave her ancestral Scottish castle, he fears that she may have been telling the truth. ****EF Benson - 'The Room in the Tower' Previously read, more than once. (1912) This one has appeared in quite a few anthologies over the years. A young man has been having a recurring nightmare for over a decade. In the dream, he’s usually a guest at an acquaintance’s home. When the hostess lets him know that he’ll be sleeping in the tower room, he is overcome by an inexplicable feeling of dread. Then one day, in real life, a friend invites him to a party. Although it’s a different friend, and the details are different, he is overwhelmed by deja vu as he enters the house. Will he finally find out what his dreadful presentiment foreshadowed? ***Mary Cholmondeley - 'Let Loose' An archaeologist wonders why his colleague always wears high collars. One day, he gets the tale out of him: while investigating a medieval fresco in a remote, small-town crypt, he learns why the local priest was so very reluctant to lend him the keys. ****FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD, 'For the Blood is the Life' (1905) Previously read; more than once – this is a heavily-anthologized, classic piece! A classic of vampire fiction; it features a seductive femme fatale whose unrequited love persists beyond the grave. The supernatural elements are mixed in with a story of mundane theft and murder in a small village, with all the expected drama of the Italian setting (as the author puts into his character’s mouth: “Deeds that would be simply brutal and disgusting anywhere else become dramatic and mysterious because this is Italy and we are living in a genuine tower of Charles V built against genuine Barbary pirates.”) However, I found that the most memorable part of the story was its framing device, with the eerie image of the grave with a body lying on top of it, which is only visible from a distance. **** Ulric Daubeny - 'The Sumach' In which it turns out that burying Spot the dog under a certain tree was probably not the best idea. It further turns out that this certain tree may have something to do with why this couple inherited the house and grounds after the previous owner's unexpected and untimely death. Will the new owners escape her fate? *** Augustus Hare - 'The Vampire of Croglin Grange' Apparently, this is an excerpt from the author's memoirs, and is presented as "a true story told to me." It definitely has the ring of fiction to it, however! Late on a summer's night, a woman hears a scratching at her window... and sees a horrific creature trying to get in! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croglin... *****Julian Hawthorne - 'Ken's Mystery' Did you know that Nathaniel Hawthorne's son was a writer of pulp fiction? I did not! Although, calling this story pulp fiction is significantly underselling it. It's one of the most beautiful depictions of an encounter with a femme fatale I've read, and is a credit to the Irish folklore that inspired it. Two friends meet after one returns from a sojourn abroad. The banjo that one gifted to the other in now inexplicably aged and worn - looking more like something from the Middle Ages than a newly-crafted instrument. In explanation, the friend tells a strange tale of being lost in the Irish countryside, and of an encounter with a friendly and welcoming young woman whom he meets by the grave of a lady who died tragically two hundred years ago. *** E and H Heron (Kate Prichard and Hesketh Prichard) - 'The Story of Baelbrow' Another in the 'supernatural investigator' genre. The old manor house of Baelbrow has long been known to be haunted - but for generations, the resident spirit has never bothered anyone. But when the owners rent the place out for the summer to a visiting professor, something changes - and a maidservant ends up dead. The professor calls in Detective Flaxman Low to see what could've happened with Baelbrow's ghost. Det. Low is awfully good at drawing a great many conclusions from a very few clues... *** MR James - 'Count Magnus' A re-read... (1904) The ‘Dracula’ influence is strong in this one… A definite must-read for fans of classic vampire fiction. Some papers found in a long-empty house reveal the story of one would-be travel writer’s experience with the titular Count, whose locked sarcophagus lies in a remote Scandinavian church. The writer uncovers local stories of men who walk when they should be lying dead… and the reader can assume that there’ll be no good end to this investigation. *** Vernon Lee (Violet Paget) - 'Marsyas in Flanders' At an old church, renowned for its old and reputedly miraculous crucifix, a guard is posted. They say the guard is there to protect the relic - but is the worry really thieves? The local antiquarian tells an interested visitor this tale of the crucifix's history, and the disturbing rumors that have surrounded it over the centuries. *** Richard Marsh - 'The Mask' A protagonist who is remarkably dense and unable to pick up on incredibly obvious clues is victimized by an escaped lunatic with a remarkable gift for disguise. After being robbed on a train, he describes the befuddling incident to a police detective, who basically says, "Well, duh, that 'nice young gentleman' clearly drugged and robbed you." But there is more to the crime than even the detective - at first - guesses. *** Hume Nisbet - 'The Vampire Maid' Seeking a break from city life, a young artist rents a room in a pleasant rural cottage. The presence of the alluring daughter of his new landlady seems to be nothing but an unexpected plus! But will he learn in time that he's made a dangerous mistake? **** Frank Norris - 'Grettir at Thorhall-stead' Excellent vampire story set in Iceland, on a remote farmstead. The landowner needs to hire a shepherd, and selects a man who seems capable, if not terribly personable... As it turns out, however, the hired hand's social skills are the least thing this small community will need to worry about. Very reminiscent of 'Beowulf,' the story is inspired by the Icelandic saga of "Grettir the Strong," (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...) but with a few good, original twists. The writing is a cut above the average. **** Phil Robinson - 'Medusa' Confirmed bachelor finds himself unexpectedly smitten by a beautiful widow. Although he's never felt the desire to commit to any woman before, he finds himself unable to keep his mind off her. Even when another man shows up, full of warnings about what happened to him - and the worse things that happened to her previous beaux, he's unable to think anything ill of her... it's almost as if he's under a spell. A very well-crafted horror tale. **** HB Marriott Watson - 'The Stone Chamber' Wonderfully classic haunted-house story. In advance of bringing his bride to the old manse he's renovating, a man invites his friend to come check out the place. However, after he sleeps in the small, damp room (complete with a bat flitting about the place), his behavior starts changing drastically. From congeniality and enthusiasm for the future, he snaps to strange fits of temper, and an uncharacteristic tendency toward intemperate drinking and gambling. When the friend researches the house's past - and why it was left empty so long - he discovers the history of a disturbing tragedy - which seems like it may be mirrored by the events happening now. Many thanks to Trafalgar Square Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this collection of classic gothic tales. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    AVAILABLE TODAY I wasn't someone who enjoyed Stoker's Dracula so I was hoping this would be different. Let's start off with the good. I think the first story Aylmer Vance and the Vampire, was the strongest. It has to do with a near extinct Scottish clan known for their violent ways and their dark castle. I could completely see this as a movie and not just because Highlander is a favorite of mine. The Sumach was also interesting in that I'd never read a story of man killing plant so directly relat AVAILABLE TODAY I wasn't someone who enjoyed Stoker's Dracula so I was hoping this would be different. Let's start off with the good. I think the first story Aylmer Vance and the Vampire, was the strongest. It has to do with a near extinct Scottish clan known for their violent ways and their dark castle. I could completely see this as a movie and not just because Highlander is a favorite of mine. The Sumach was also interesting in that I'd never read a story of man killing plant so directly related to vampirism. Everyone has read that you can kill a vampire with a stake, but what happens to the stake? What would grow when you planted it? Grettir at Thorhall-stead also caught my attention because it reminded me that I really want to read those Nancy Marie Brown books I have on Icelandic history/tales. Probably the best parts of this book are the author intros to each story. I liked reading about the husbands and wives, mothers and sons, expat lesbians, and other eccentrics who wrote prolific oddball tales that sparked the imaginations of the time. Now the bad: this book was a slag. Many many nights did I grab this book, half read ten pages, and swoon to sleep. Most of these stories were booooring. This is a generous stretch to eek out three stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lainy

    Time taken to read - 2 days Pages - 288 Publisher - OldCastle Books Source - Bought Blurb from Goodreads Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden unleashes something awful Time taken to read - 2 days Pages - 288 Publisher - OldCastle Books Source - Bought Blurb from Goodreads Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them. A travel writer in Sweden unleashes something awful from an ancient mausoleum. A psychic detective battles a vampire that has taken refuge in an Egyptian mummy. A nightmare becomes reality in the tower room of a gloomy country house. Including works by both well known writers of the supernatural such as M. R. James and E. F. Benson and less familiar authors like the Australian Hume Nisbet and the American F. Marion Crawford, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of classic tales to chill the blood and tingle the spine. My Review Firstly let me say i am not a fan of short stories in general, I always find I am left unsatisfied and left hanging with them. For that reason alone I generally tend to avoid them, unless you are master King of course. This wee book offers up 15 short stories with vampires or some kind of vampiric theme. The very first story reminded me of old school vamp, like the movies I grew up with, I was picturing Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, it just set me off on a high with this book. Each chapter gives us a brief history on the author and their work as well as the year of birth and death. Some of these guys and gals were the 1800s so not familiar authors for me. I absolutely am taking note of their names and will be tracking down pretty much all of their works because even those I didn't love I still enjoyed and liked. A Medusa type character with a different spin to her, a few dodgy old houses, love love love them and the eerie gothic creepy spin to the stories. Sometimes an old house is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, some of these authors bring that setting right to life, I wanted them all made into movies! There is a tree one that whilst not my fav by far but I loved the different spin and you get a back story, you don't often get that in vampires stories let alone a short story one! Each author has a very different style yet all manage the eerie creepy vibes and feel you used to get with the black and white movies on a Saturday night. This book is a wee gem and it is a shame it lay on my shelves for so long. I kind of want this to be a keeper but I also want to share it with folk so I think I may put it up as a giveaway on my blog. I will for sure be checking out more of these authors, all of them. If you are a vampire fan, even if you don't like short stories, please check this book out guys it is a great read, 4.5/5 for me this time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Circa Girl

    What a great concept for a gothic anthology - plenty of underrated gothic horror, particularly vampiric horror to discovered. The only issue is most of the stories are told from a distanced reflection and do a lot more telling than showing so much of the emotional tone and atmosphere has to be embellished in your own mind to really lose yourself in the story. Also, most of them end super abruptly. Like a few times I went back and reread the last few paragraphs to make sure I didn't miss any tran What a great concept for a gothic anthology - plenty of underrated gothic horror, particularly vampiric horror to discovered. The only issue is most of the stories are told from a distanced reflection and do a lot more telling than showing so much of the emotional tone and atmosphere has to be embellished in your own mind to really lose yourself in the story. Also, most of them end super abruptly. Like a few times I went back and reread the last few paragraphs to make sure I didn't miss any transition. There are a few treasures to be found just on concept and prose alone though and Nick Rennison did a great job with the author bios before each entry. Stories included: Aylmer Vance and the Vampire- Two stars- The most mainstream and formulaic of the set. An investigator of unusual cases is approached by their city's once most eligible bachelor for help with his disturbed fiance. The Room in the Tower- Five Stars- One of my favorites! Deliciously eerie even before it gets to the blood sucking climax. It's nice to see nightmares and dream logic as foreshadowing used in new, unsettling ways. A man is plagued by a reoccurring nightmare about staying as a guest in a tower full of negative vibes and finally gets the opportunity to face his fears. Let Loose- Four Stars - This story was great about setting up the tension of a possible evil presence. The crypt, dark folklore, grey little village, and the like were great motifs for the air of foreboding. I also appreciated the vulnerable, philosophical tone the narrator's inner monologue takes as he faces the concept of death and the afterlife more and more directly. A young man obsessed with architecture gets exclusive, limited access to an old church's crypt and unknowingly releases a dark spirit there. For the Blood is the Life- Three Stars - This one really sets a scene and gets romantically morbid, but ultimately fizzles out to predictability in the end. A friend recounts the legend of an odd burial mound on his property grounds. The Sumach- Two Stars- One of the few vampire gothics set in the summer heat with the main protagonists being women. Too bad, outside of one or two frightening encounters, the characters and conflict came off so shallow and forgettable. A woman awaits her husband's return in their new home but encounters a special kind of sickness related to the red Sumach tree on their property. The Vampire of Croglin Grange- Three Stars- Short and to the point. There's very little of anything memorable to say about the setup but you will definitely get freaked out when the vampire makes his brief appearance. I wonder if this story inspired the window gazing moment in the 80s' Buffy movie. Soo creepy! A couple of siblings inherit the fixer-upper Croglin Grange house but the sister of the pair quickly finds herself terrorized by a menacing figure outside her room. Ken's Mystery-Two Stars- This started off very haunting and compelling and then turned generic and disappointing. A man visits an old friend who has visibly and emotionally deteriorated since his trip abroad to Ireland. The Story of Baelbrow- 1 Star- Worst story of the anthology. Zero atmosphere, lazy writing, bad characters, a cool premise turned ridiculous. A paranormal Sherlock Holmes type investigates a series of deaths taking place in a family mansion. Count Magnus- Three Stars- This one gave me "The Historian by Kostova" vibes. A man interested in travelogues and travel literature goes down a dark research rabbit hole of the history of an evil man named Count Magnus. Marsyas in Flanders- Two Stars- Super dry, almost nonfiction style account of a haunted Crucifix in Europe. There was less a story here than a timeline of "facts" and a lot of ambiguity. I do wonder if there is any basis for this fictional theory though...I couldn't find anything substantial on a quick internet hunt. The Mask- Five Stars- This had pretty much nothing to do with vampires but the concept is just so unsettling and well executed that it didn't matter. Definitely the most psychological horror of the bunch. I want to see this made into a movie! A man staying at a hotel is robbed and becomes infatuated with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. What he doesn't know is that several of the guests he encounters at the hotel may be more connected than he thinks... The Vampire Maid- Three Stars- Quiet, slow building menace. It follows some cliches like weakening physicality intersecting with the budding relationship of a supernaturally enticing young woman, but it effectively puts you in the victims head. A disaffected, depressed young man traveling abroad stays at a remote cabin by the sea and falls in love with the owner's daughter. Soon, her allure begins to tear at his well being and autonomy. Grettir at Thorhall-stead- One star- Omg this story.....*shaking my head* I guess if you're already into Icelandic legends and Nordic mythology than this would be your cup of tea but I just couldn't get into it. It was unintentionally hilarious though that the vampire is defeated with pure brute strength wrestling that literally collapses the roof and effectively fucks up this Shepard's house. Medusa- Five Stars- Great character perspective, build-up to the monster, and tragic overtones about love and marriage. This could have easily been expanded to a full length novel without losing any tension. After the death of his manager, a young man crosses paths with a hauntingly beautiful griever who is more than what she seems. The Stone Chamber- Five Stars- Rennison saved the best for last. The Stone Chamber is pretty much a novella/short novel in its own right, but it is worth the length. This gave me "The Little Stranger" vibes, which is the highest compliment I think I can give to a haunted house story. Disturbing devolution of relationships, well developed dialogue, efficient character development, haunting imagery, and just enough left to your own interpretation and imagination to keep you thinking about it afterward. A sophisticated gentleman is invited to visit his best friend's new home, a creepy, medieval property with a partially demolished chapel and their relationship slowly becomes strained and questionable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Badseedgirl

    The Rivals of Dracula: Stories from the Golden Age of Gothic Horror edited by Nick Rennison and published in 2016 by Oldcastle Books suffers from one of the problems many anthologies have and two quite unique problems. But in spite of that I still enjoyed this book overall. There were 15 stories in this anthology. The strongest ones for me was the first story, “Aylmer Vance and the Vampire” by Alice and Claude Askew, and “The Story of Baelbrow” by E and H Heron (Kate and Hesketh Prichard). The r The Rivals of Dracula: Stories from the Golden Age of Gothic Horror edited by Nick Rennison and published in 2016 by Oldcastle Books suffers from one of the problems many anthologies have and two quite unique problems. But in spite of that I still enjoyed this book overall. There were 15 stories in this anthology. The strongest ones for me was the first story, “Aylmer Vance and the Vampire” by Alice and Claude Askew, and “The Story of Baelbrow” by E and H Heron (Kate and Hesketh Prichard). The rest of the stories were varied from enjoyable to forgettable. The exception to this would have to be “The Sumach” by Ulric Daubeny, because who wouldn’t like a story about a vampire plant! (Little shop of Horrors) Maybe it was the writing of the time, but these stories had a tendency to end rather abruptly. I found this to be quite jarring at times. I feel this may be a result of the age they were written in. It could also be because many were for penny dreadful publications. The second problem for me was that almost every story was written in the same form, that being 2 men sitting across from each other one man telling another man the story. Sometimes the reader is the other man, but still it got to be a tad monotonous after a time. I, as a reader very much enjoyed the 1-page blurb about each author, most of who I was unfamiliar with before this anthology. Overall I enjoyed this book and was introduced to some interesting “new” authors. The reviewer wishes to thank Trafalgar Square Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this anthology.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I reviewed this book for NetGalley. "The Rivals of Dracula," is an excellent anthology of lesser known late 19th/early 20th century vampire fiction. This book has historical importance and well as being entertaining in its own right. It is refreshing to read early vampire fiction that is not "Dracula" or "Carmilla." The stories cover a range of vampires, from plants to ghosts. The subject matter and writing novels provide a lot on insight into this period and genre of literature as well as being g I reviewed this book for NetGalley. "The Rivals of Dracula," is an excellent anthology of lesser known late 19th/early 20th century vampire fiction. This book has historical importance and well as being entertaining in its own right. It is refreshing to read early vampire fiction that is not "Dracula" or "Carmilla." The stories cover a range of vampires, from plants to ghosts. The subject matter and writing novels provide a lot on insight into this period and genre of literature as well as being good, short reads. A very good vampire short story collection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5 I've long known that Bram Stoker's Dracula was not the only vampire story of its day ... simply the best known. But until now, I had never read any of the other, contemporary works. But vampires, and other supernatural spirits were popular grist for the turn of the century writer. As editor Nick Rennison points out in his introduction: ...writers ... made their livings by producing stories for the vast number of weekly and This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5 I've long known that Bram Stoker's Dracula was not the only vampire story of its day ... simply the best known. But until now, I had never read any of the other, contemporary works. But vampires, and other supernatural spirits were popular grist for the turn of the century writer. As editor Nick Rennison points out in his introduction: ...writers ... made their livings by producing stories for the vast number of weekly and monthly magazines that proliferated in the period. They were not literary stylists and they were often obliged to pour out fiction at such a rate that quantity became as important as quality but they aimed always to write exciting and readable narratives and they mostly succeeded. What can be termed ‘weird’ fiction was a very important part of the entertainment served up by the story magazines and the vampires took their places alongside the ghosts, ghouls and supernatural creatures of all kinds which populated their pages. This well-collected and edited book gives the reader a taste of turn-of-the-century dark fantasy fiction and it's really interesting. None of the stories stands out, head and shoulders above the classic Dracula, but there are some gems and it's well worth exploring. One of the highlights for me was "Ken's Mystery" by Julian Hawthorne, particularly because I read and reviewed a biography of Mr. Hawthorne (see that review here) but had not read any of his works. This is a typical example of a freelance writer producing 'hack' fiction in order to make a buck or two. In some cases the idea of a 'vampire' is stretched a bit. As Rennison points out in his introduction to Marsh's "The Mask": "Its villainess isn't a vampire in the undead sense but she certainly as a taste for blood." This is clearly a work of love on Rennison's part and it's clear that he really appreciates these works, and that does make this more enjoyable. While I can't say that I will be talking or writing about how great these other vampire stories are, I do really appreciate them and how they had an effect on Dracula (or vice versa), and in some cases (such as with HB Marriott Watson) I am very interested in reading other work by the author. This book contains: "Aylmer Vance and the Vampire" by Alice Askew and Claude Askew "The Room in the Tower" by EF Benson "Let Loose" by Mary Cholmondeley "For the Blood is the Life" by F Marion Crawford "The Sumach" by Ulric Daubeny "The Vampire of Croglin Grange" by Augustus Hare "Ken's Mystery" by Julian Hawthorne "The Story of Baelbrow" by E and H Heron "Count Magnus" by MR James "Marsyas in Flanders" by Vernon Lee "The Mask" by Richard Marsh "The Vampire Maid" by Hume Nesbit "Grettir at Thirhall-stead" by Frank Norris "Medusa" by Phil Robinson "The Stone Chamber" by HB Marriott Watson Looking for a good book? The Rivals of Dracula, edited by Nick Rennison, is a nice compendium of contemporary (to Dracula) vampire stories. It is worth reading if you are a fan of the vampire motif or turn-of-the-century fiction. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    H.A. Fowler

    Okay, first, allow me to confess that one: I have been a sick, twisted little vampire freak since I snuck a big golden hardcover called INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE out of the adult section of the library when I was about 7 (and gobbled it up like… well, insert your own vampire pun here), and it hasn’t abated since. Second: I don’t just adore our modern “hero” smexy awesome vampires (which many say were born from Ms. Rice’s precious pen). I’m an amateur scholar of vampire lore. I love the way the st Okay, first, allow me to confess that one: I have been a sick, twisted little vampire freak since I snuck a big golden hardcover called INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE out of the adult section of the library when I was about 7 (and gobbled it up like… well, insert your own vampire pun here), and it hasn’t abated since. Second: I don’t just adore our modern “hero” smexy awesome vampires (which many say were born from Ms. Rice’s precious pen). I’m an amateur scholar of vampire lore. I love the way the stories cross history, reflect the times and the cultures from which they sprang. I love studying the way people respond to the idea — why do vampires exist in some form or another since the dawn of humanity? What do we look for in them? How have their stories evolved as time passed, and why? Why does the popularity of the vampire story wax and wane (sparkly ones notwithstanding.)? The topic of vampire lore is one of my dream theses for my MFA or PhD someday (knock on wood). So it can be no surprise that I ADORED these “lost” vampire stories, all of which were born in the general era surrounding Stoker’s classic. Each one is unique, reflects different themes, reads differently in language and cadence. It was so much fun to read them, and so edifying to my greedy little vampire-loving mind. It’s a blast looking at these old stories, and thinking about how the vampires today evolved from them. Most of us who know a bit of the history of “modern” vampire lore (from the Victorian Era onward) know Dracula, Carmilla, Varney the Vampire, Lair of the White Worm, etc. But I don’t think I’ve heard of more than two or three of these before. If you’re interested in vampire lore on an academic-ish level, you’ll love these. Or if you enjoy Victorian Era stories, they’ll tickle you as well. Actually, I also liked them as entertainment. They were really creepy, and had me looking over my shoulder in my dark house at night, and wonder if that shadow in the yard might be getting closer? Now, why I didn’t give it 5 Batty Moons. It might not even be fair to knock off that half, because it’s the nature of the book that may not make it palatable to my sister and brother PNR/UF readers. It’s a difficult trick to switch your mind from a modern storytelling style to one over a hundred years old. Everything is different: syntax, grammar, turn of phrase. I’m not saying the book is lofty and the rest of us are dumb, but I think the average PNR/UF or even modern horror lover might not want to work this hard to get the scare… or they might not get the scare at all. It’s not for everyone. Nonetheless, I still have to recommend it for anyone who’s looking for something a little different from the vampire genre, and anyone who has an academic interest on how the lore has evolved over the years, from the vampire’s ancient roots in the far east to modern America. Don’t forget to keep the lights on!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Book Review – The Rivals of Dracula, Stories from the Golden Age of Gothic Horror Edited by Nick Rennison No Exit Press – 9781843 446323 7 out of 10 During the Elizabethan age, a lot of writers were working on disturbing stories, designed to appeal to the more lurid aspects of the popular imagination. Using tropes and ideas, that are now familiar from Frankenstein, Dracula, Vampiric lore, Satanic rituals, etc, many of these stories were published as Penny Dreadfuls, designed as cheap entertainment f Book Review – The Rivals of Dracula, Stories from the Golden Age of Gothic Horror Edited by Nick Rennison No Exit Press – 9781843 446323 7 out of 10 During the Elizabethan age, a lot of writers were working on disturbing stories, designed to appeal to the more lurid aspects of the popular imagination. Using tropes and ideas, that are now familiar from Frankenstein, Dracula, Vampiric lore, Satanic rituals, etc, many of these stories were published as Penny Dreadfuls, designed as cheap entertainment for the masses. Like most pulp fiction, the stories had the same stock set of characters, clichés, storylines and ideas, but some of them passed into the public imagination. As well as their hard hitting original fiction from modern authors, NO EXIT Press have also been bringing out anthologies of other genres, which is where this handy anthology fits. Edited by Nick Rennison the book brings together stories from such names as MR James and EF Benson, as well as collecting other authors who’s works are not as readily available, and there is something for everyone here. Although not every story hits the mark in terms of horror, and tastes are slightly bolder there is work here that stays with the reader, from MR James Count Magus, to Richard Marsh’s The Mask, or EF Benson’s chilling The Room in the Tower, where the central character has a series of dreams, featuring a family of strangers, until one day he visits a friend, and sees the family in an oil painting. Some of the stories are only a few pages long, whilst other offer much more scope, in terms of character development and a story arc, but if you like Dracula, and you are looking for writing of a similar quality, this could be the book for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Let's start with the good. I really wanted to love this , Dracula is one of my favorite Gothic Horror Novels, so the thought of reading this got me excited for the genre again! There were two really strong stories for this and that alone I would buy this for, or buy the short stories separately. The bad: I was bored out of my gored with the rest. It took me forever to get through the rest. I would pick it up at night, get excited and cozy, read maybe 2-8 pages and fall asleep. So unfortunately I Let's start with the good. I really wanted to love this , Dracula is one of my favorite Gothic Horror Novels, so the thought of reading this got me excited for the genre again! There were two really strong stories for this and that alone I would buy this for, or buy the short stories separately. The bad: I was bored out of my gored with the rest. It took me forever to get through the rest. I would pick it up at night, get excited and cozy, read maybe 2-8 pages and fall asleep. So unfortunately I am giving this a 3 stars based on the two exquisite stories I read in this. I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review on NetGalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Raymond

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. I didn't know what to expect from this book when I first requested it, other than it contained stories which were contemporary with Bram Stoker's "Dracula". I found the stories interesting and the facts about each author were quite interesting. Compared to today's stories these tales are fairly tame, but seen in a historical context they bring a sense of what literature consisted of around the time of " Dracula's" publishing. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. I didn't know what to expect from this book when I first requested it, other than it contained stories which were contemporary with Bram Stoker's "Dracula". I found the stories interesting and the facts about each author were quite interesting. Compared to today's stories these tales are fairly tame, but seen in a historical context they bring a sense of what literature consisted of around the time of " Dracula's" publishing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    15 short stories, some of which stand the test of time, others of which I can't really say that I cared for. If you are a fan of horror from a more innocent time, if you recall with fondness watching the old Boris Karloff movies on late night TV these stories may be for you. I did enjoy "The Sumach" about a mysterious illness and a creepy old tree. "The Vampire of Croglin Grange was also pretty good. I received a complimentary copy for review. 15 short stories, some of which stand the test of time, others of which I can't really say that I cared for. If you are a fan of horror from a more innocent time, if you recall with fondness watching the old Boris Karloff movies on late night TV these stories may be for you. I did enjoy "The Sumach" about a mysterious illness and a creepy old tree. "The Vampire of Croglin Grange was also pretty good. I received a complimentary copy for review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Violet

    Extraordinary collection of Victorian age horror stories. I truly enjoyed this collection and see why the readers at this time would have been frightened by these tales. I cannot recommend this book enough and look forward to reading additional collections.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Scott

    A delightful anthology that would be a joy to explore for any fan of gothic vampire stories.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy Walker

    A great collection of Stoker's contemporaries. A great collection of Stoker's contemporaries.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Overmoyer

    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Enrico

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Hozey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Palamara

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lu

  23. 4 out of 5

    Isla

  24. 4 out of 5

    Franzi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Richard Anstead

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kepler

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paul James

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emerald

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