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The Vampire His Kith and Kin
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The Vampire His Kith and Kin

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Any investigation into vampire legends leads inevitably to the works of Montague Summers (1880-1948), whose research and writings in the 1920s established him as the subject’s preeminent authority. This study examines vampire lore in fantastic detail, constituting a record of folk beliefs unequaled in its sheer scope and depth. It features all the apparatus of an academic
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published 1960 by University Books (first published 1928)
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DJ Harris
May 21, 2013 DJ Harris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire Lovers, Vampyre Researchers, Vampire Enthusiasts, Historians
Recommended to DJ by: Vampire Research Center

The Vampires by Montague Summers

Learn the origins of the Vampire, the generation of the Vampire, the traits and practices of Vampirism, learn about Vampires in literature, and more!

If you try to read this composition purely for pleasure, you may be disappointed. This book is a very thorough collection of Vampire folklore, literature, and facts. These pages are filled with a ton of research material, the likes of which you may never see anywhere else.

The book is heavily laden with religious con
Oh Montague, you crack me up! This man was such a loony, and that just makes his 'scholarly works' that much more entertaining to read. He pursues his chosen subject (the occult) with a slavering religious fervor that just tickles me to death! No matter whether it's this book about vampirism, or his other books on either witches (diabolism) or the werewolf, his theme remains the same: they were created by Satan to lead the devout into damnation!
The real kicker, what REALLY makes these books so
I read this in an epic one-day research session for an essay. I'm a very slow reader but I still managed to finish it (okay, I skipped the chapter on Assyrian vampires etc), so I guess that's a testament to how engaging it is. Summers was obviously bonkers, chased into strong religious and superstitious belief by hell knows what, probably the fact that he was a massive gayist. He gathers an astounding amount of folklore, myths, religious legends and stories into one book, all with the exciting t ...more
Genevra Littlejohn
I loved this. I'd probably have loved it more if I could read Latin and Greek--but even what's in English is informative and fascinating.
(I enjoyed the discussion of how Catholic saints resemble vampires in most particulars--not something I'd considered before.)
Rufusgermanicus Meelberg
This book was slow-going for the first half, and the part I best enjoyed was the critique of Vampire fiction at the back. The author is fairly restrained and scholarly when speaking of the history of vampire myth. He analyzes every major culture with a history of vampire myths, breaks them all down, and finds the common threads as well as the peculiarities. It is when he is reviewing works by other authors on the same subject, that he is at his most amusing. "Reviews" could easily be changed to ...more
Interesting research on vampirism but it tends to lean a bit too much on the religious side. I mean, I did expect some of that with the author's background and all but, damn, apparently you have to read a whole bunch of Saints' stories and all about exorcisms before understanding saints are holy people and not evil vampires. Other big, big downside to this book would be the long untranslated quotations in French, German, Greek and Latin. I sorted my way through French and Latin but, well, there ...more
Steven Kent
As a book you read for pleasure, this book scores a strong two stars. As a book you read for information, it rates a solid five. I am compromising.

Montague Summers knew and wrote more about vampires, werewolves and who knows what else than any man of his time. If you want to know about the world view of these creatures, Summers has it. You say you prefer to learn about the traditional Eastern European beliefs? No problem, Summers is your man.

And he writes about it in flowery, urn-of-the-century
Karl Thompson
A bit of an endeavor to read this, hardly say it was worth it. Despite the incredible amount of legends, folk tails and stories he cited. His tendency to write in Latin often threw the whole narrative out of sink.

His interpretation was rather enjoyable in parts though, and how he connected each folk tail, many many folk tails, together to create the argument that vampires are a real phenomenon, was very admirable. If only in that he wrote it with such zeal.

Not a horrible read, but I wouldn't rec
had some tedious stuff about miracles and saints, but the connection was made between that and the vampire myth, my favorite chapter being the one about the myths of the middle-east, china, and other ancient countries.
Apr 08, 2008 Julia marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Another book on my shelf that I haven't actually taken out the time to read, but plan to quite soon and am excited about it.
An interesting general study of the vampiric myth, but Summers is not as clever or as good a writer as he thinks he is.
Thank you, Marvel Comics, in their B & W magazines like Vampire Tales, which serialized this public-domain source!
John Browning
This is the most definitive edition of Summers's inaugural work on vampires to date, but I'm probably bias.
This book is incredibly informative. It's got tons of legend & lore for lovers of vampire fiction.
Robert Ingram
It would have been easier if it were not in 4 different languages.
Whitney marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
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Augustus Montague Summers (10 April 1880 – 10 August 1948) was an eccentric English author and clergyman. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for his idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe. He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorio ...more
More about Montague Summers...
The History of Witchcraft and Demonology The Werewolf in Lore and Legend The Vampire in Lore and Legend Witchcraft and Black Magic The Supernatural Omnibus: Being a Collection of Stories of Apparitions, Witchcraft, Werewolves, Diabolism, Necromancy, Satanism, Divination, Sorcery, Goetry, Voodoo, Possession, Occult, Doom and Destiny

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