Bite: A Vampire Handbook, By Kevin Jackson

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The Independent Culture

The author lists a series of alleged vampire epidemics – Istria (1672), Hungary (1725-32), Silesia (1755), Wallachia (1756) – that took place in the right place (Mitteleuropa) but the wrong time (the Age of Enlightenment).

Jackson might have continued this list. Since 1980 there have been at least 25 "notable vampire films" that culminated in the 2008 Twilight (total receipts: $187 million). For anyone who feels under-briefed on these sanguinary doings, Bite is a jolly vade mecum. We learn that the template for the charismatic count was not so much Vlad the Impaler but Lord Byron as used by JW Polidori in The Vampyre (total receipts: £30). Successors in the fang club range from Kipling to Coppola. This tasty little book might make suckers of us all.