Vampires - Monsters or Romeos?: Background information when reading The Passage

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The Passage

by Justin Cronin

The Passage
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2010, 784 pages
    May 2011, 784 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Cindy Anderson

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Beyond the Book:
Vampires - Monsters or Romeos?

The vampires of folklore are hideous and frightening figures, walking corpses that feast on the blood of the living. But during the Victorian era, writers began to create stories about a different kind of vampire, typified by an aristocrat who represented both death and sexual desire, a possible reaction to the repressiveness of the times. An early example of such a tale is John Polidori's The Vampyre, (1819) in which the title character, Lord Ruthven, is a seductive nobleman.

Another example is Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (1871), notable because it features a sexy female vampire who seduces and drinks the blood of a female victim. Yet, the most famous and influential of all 19th century vampire fiction was Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Stoker introduced most of the characteristics that are now considered stereotypical of the vampire: their immortality, their ability to transform into bats, wolves or mist, and their lack of reflection in a mirror. Dracula was also ...

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