Montague Summers

Abridged by Nigel Suckling

Ch One: The Origin of the Vampire
Ch Two: Creation of the Vampire
Ch Three: How to Recognize and Destroy the Vampire
Ch Four: The Vampire's Kith and kin
Ch Five: The Vampire in Literature

This text was for a Studio Editions (Random House) book that never quite got off the ground. Basically it is a heavily abridged version of Montague Summers' classic THE VAMPIRE: HIS KITH AND KIN, published in 1928. The original is wonderful in its own way but so densely written that most people find it unreadable. My aim was to simplify it drastically while retaining as much as possible of the flavour and content of the original. All I did in fact was drop large chunks of his original digressions and tidy up the punctuation. I only added in all probably a couple of dozen words to bridge gaps that the omissions created.


So, if you're interested in Montague Summers or the folklore of vampires generally, feel free to have a read and download the text if you like. It was a commissioned work (and even paid for, amazingly), but the last I heard from Studio the copyright had reverted to me. Something to do with it not having being published within the contractually specified time. If anyone knows otherwise about the copyright, please get in touch.

On the right is a rather good picture sent in by a Summers' fan, Estelle Valls de Gomis, who chose vampires as the theme of her magnificent doctoral thesis that has an honoured place on my bookshelf. Click on it for a enlargement and more info. There are a few more pictures and items of interest in the Introduction.

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