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Origins of a European Myth
Thomas M. Bohn
Translated from the German by Francis Ipgrave
304 pages, 24 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-292-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-293-9 eBook
“Bohn's broad and diligently compiled study ranges from the legends of medieval Iceland, through early modern Silesia and Poland, and up to the modern-day Balkans… The author has tackled an important issue of pan-European relevance.” • Sehepunkte
Even before Bram Stoker immortalized Transylvania as the homeland of his fictional Count Dracula, the figure of the vampire was inextricably tied to Eastern Europe in the popular imagination. Drawing on a wealth of heretofore neglected sources, this book offers a fascinating account of how vampires—whose various incarnations originally emerged from the folk traditions of societies throughout the world—became identified with such a specific region. It demonstrates that the modern conception of the vampire was born in the crucible of the Enlightenment, embodying a mysterious, Eastern “otherness” that stood opposed to Western rationality.
Thomas M. Bohn is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at Justus Liebig University Giessen.