Vampires and Richard Matheson

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I’m still ploughing ahead with my biggest blogging project of the year: a 12-month, decade-by-decade overview of vampire fiction, marking the two hundredth anniversary of John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” — the story that can lay claim to having kicked off the genre in the first place. This month I’ve reached the 1950s, with a look at Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and an earlier, shorter, lesser-known vampire story by the same author. How did vampires adapt to the postwar era? Very well, as it happens…

Here are the past instalments in the series if you’d like to catch up:

Part 1: Two Centuries of Blood — John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1818); Cyprien Bérard’s Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires (1820)

Part 2: The Feminine Touch — Théophile Gautier’s “La morte amoureuse” (1836); Elizabeth F. Ellet’s “The Vampyre” (1849)

Part 3: Deconstructing the Vampire — Charles Wilkins Webber’s Spiritual Vampirism (1853);  Paul Féval’s Le Chevalier Ténèbre (1860)

Part 4: Carmilla and Company — J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1871-2); Anne Crawford’s “A Mystery of the Campagna” (1886)

Part 5: Enter Count Dracula — Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)

Part 6: An Occult Dawn — M. R. James’ “Count Magnus” (1904); Sax Rohmer’s Brood of the Witch-Queen (1918)

Part 7: Dion Fortune’s Demon Lover — Dion Fortune’s The Demon Lover (1927)

Part 8: In the Shadow of Hollywood — Henry Kuttner’s “I, the Vampire” (1937); Irina Karlova’s Dreadful Hollow (1942)

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