Sunday, June 6, 2021

Tony Mortimer was Reading My Werewolf Anthology During the Covid-19 Lockdown


Tony Mortimer is a former member of the band East 17, an English pop band formed in 1991, took some time out of his busy schedule to read a few werewolf short stories during the Covid-19 lockdown. One would think that for Tony to read a book of classic werewolf tales from the early nineteenth century that he is an avid reader of horror literature.

This is not the case, however. Turns out that Tony is somewhat new to reading and he loves it. Tony did not read his first novel until he turned 50 years old. He now wants to pay it forward by getting young boys into reading and by writing his own novel. This is certainly an admirable cause for the Ivor Novello-winning songwriter.

Tony read many other popular books during the Covid pandemic, including Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None; The Flower Girls by Alice Clark Platts; The Best Werewolf Short Stories 1800-1849 by Andrew Barger; The Fear Bubble by Ant Middleton. Oscar Wilde’s Complete Short Stories; JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner; Stephen King’s On Writing.

You can read more about it on PH:

Congratulations on your newfound love, Tony, and best wishes.

Best Werewolf Short Stories 1800-1849

#bestwerewolfstories #TonyMortimer #JKRowling #StephenKing #East17

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Which author invented the popular vampire motifs -- no reflection in a mirror and cast no shadow?


An astute reader, Erin McNulty, recently inquired on my Facebook page as to whether Alexandre Dumas "invented" the popular vampire motif that vampires have no reflection in a mirror and cast no shadow. She wondered why it was in the text of my English translation of Dumas's "The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains" in the Best Vampire Short Stories 1800-1849 collection that I edited.
This was an excellent question that sent me off in search of forgotten tomes on vampire lore, which is never a bad thing! What I learned is very interesting...
It appears that until 1975 readers believed Bram Stoker, in his fantastic novel Dracula, had created these two important vampire motifs. In 1975, however, an editor named Allan Hull Watson published The Horror at Fontenay that was supposedly a "long-lost Dumas novel." Consider this text from page 178:
"I don't know who or what is attacking you. But I have my suspicions. Did you ever notice anything peculiar about Kostaki?"
"Yes," I replied. "On at least two occasions he seemed to cast no shadow in bright light, while everyone else did! And on another occasion - although it may have been imagination on my part - he came into this room to ask if my women were sufficiently attentive. He was standing with his back to that mirror, and I could swear that his image was not reflected in it!"
That is a compelling storyline, but unfortunately it does not appear to be in the original French by Dumas in "The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains" and he did not write any novel or short story titled "The Horror at Fotenay." In my opinion the vampire motifs about not casting a shadow and no reflection in a mirror were inserted by Watson as complete embellishments to sell more books.
Bram Stoker appears to have "invented" these important vampire motifs in Dracula and they were not created decades earlier by Alexandre Dumas. The problem is solved and Stoker remains on his lofty pedestal.
Thank you, Erin, for keeping me honest in my research!

#bestvampirestories #vampirestories #classicvampiretales #vampirecarpathianmountains #vampires #classicvampirestories #bramstoker #alexandredumas