Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Complete Book of Vampires

I recently acquired Leonard R. N. Ashley's The Complete Book of Vampires. Ashley is a Professor Emeritus and the author of several books, including a series of complete books on 'occult' themes. The vampire book is a mixed bag of all sorts of information gathered from a vast number of other books, all presented in a very entertaining manner. In the preface Ashley says that 'the book attempts, as do all the other books in my series, to bring scholarly research to all readers in a user-friendly sort of way and to entertain as it educates.' I honestly find that it is more entertainment than a scholarly book, as he doesn't really try to establish any genuine context for understanding e.g. the portion from Van Swieten's commentaries on vampires that he translates. So this is in short an ertaining introduction that will no doubt delight the casual reader, but is of very little use, if any, for the study of the historical aspects of magia posthuma.

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