Monday, 23 January 2012

On the feast front

I recently mentioned an upcoming book called Bram Stoker’s Dracula: the critical feast, an annotated reference of reviews and reactions, 1897-1920, which is compiled and edited by John Edgar Browning. John saw my post and shared further information, 'hot off the press', on the 18th via Facebook:
An Annotated Reference of Early Reviews and Reactions, 1897-1913

Compiled and Annotated, with an Introduction, by
John Edgar Browning

Bibliographical Afterword by
J. Gordon Melton

“Both scholars and devoted fans will rejoice in Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Critical Feast. This exhaustive compilation fulfills a long-standing need in the realm of Dracula studies and provides a valuable fresh perspective on the early popular and critical reception of Stoker’s masterpiece.”
—Dr. Margaret L. Carter, The Vampire in Literature: A Critical Bibliography and Different Blood: The Vampire as Alien

“This meticulously researched book puts to rest misconceptions long held by many Dracula scholars (myself included) about the reception of Stoker's novel. A superb achievement and a scholar’s delight!”
—Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Documentary Journey into Vampire Country and the Dracula Phenomenon and Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition

“Dryden said of The Canterbury Tales that “here is God’s plenty,” and one might say the same thing about Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Critical Feast. Browning has assembled an exhaustive collection of contemporary reviews of Dracula, reviews that put Stoker’s novel into context and demonstrate its almost instantaneous popularity. In addition, The Critical Feast includes copies of early covers and photographs of Stoker. This is a book that every student of Dracula will be proud to own…and pore over, a feast for the eyes and for the mind.”
—Dr. Carol A. Senf, Bram Stoker (Gothic Authors: Critical Revisions) and The Critical Response to Bram Stoker

There is a common misconception that the early critical reception of Bram Stoker’s famed vampire novel, Dracula (1897), was “mixed.” This reference book sets out to dispel this myth en force by offering the most exhaustive collection of early critical responses to Stoker’s novel ever assembled, including some 91 reviews and reactions as well as 36 different press notices, many of which have not been seen in print since they appeared over 100 years ago. What these early critical responses reveal about Dracula’s writing is that it was predominantly seen by early reviewers and responders to parallel, even supersede the Gothic horror works of such canonical writers as Mary Shelley, Ann Radcliffe, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Accompanying the critical responses are annotations and an introduction by the editor, a bibliographical afterword by J. Gordon Melton, 32 illustrations, and a bibliography.
Sounds good! Personally speaking, I find it interesting to read contemporary views on the novel, long before it morphed into the Gothic legend it's become. Back when it was more 'grounded'. Anyhoo, John also kindly sent me the book's cover, today. Here tis:

Nifty, ain't it? He also let me know that 'with any luck, I'll be contracting my 9th and 10th book in the next 30 days'! Considering the first book he edited appeared in 2009—Draculas, vampires, and other undead forms: essays on gender, race, and culture—that's a hell of an achievement. Let's not forget his 'critical edition' to Montague Summers' The vampire in Europe (1929) is also due sometime this year.

In this capacity, John reminds me of Peter Haining (1940–2007), another prolific guy with a knack for turning up obscure goodies.

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