I've been wondering whether the critical edition of Summers' The vampire: his kith and kin used web material as its source or referred to the original text. So, I went straight to the source: the book's editor, John Edgar Browning.
I contacted John on September 1, asking 'Did you use Summers' original book or did you use the online version of kith?' He responded the same day, 'Which would be better: That I used the online version; or, a facsimile of the first ed.?'
That sounded ominous, until I read his comments on my Facebook status update about the book (August 29 at 9:20am). One of my Facebook friends, Kyle, complained about the book being expensive (September 1 at 1:44pm), to which John added:
The new edition offers a complete, identical facsimile of the 1928 ed., front and back mater by renown vampire and Summers scholars, every known pic of Summers and then some, dozens of other contextual images, Greek and Latin translations for all those pesky passages, facsimiles of important correspondence between Summers, Wheatley, Censors Board, etc., and MORE. You can find other, cheaper editions, but they're usually OCRs cum errors, or facsimiles that offer no additional materials $22.95 is a steal, I think (Friday at 1:07am).What a relief! Also, dayum! Couldn't agree more. All that for US$22.95. Bargain. My copy of the book's yet to arrive, but John did send me a brief pdf preview of the book's contents on Friday. While only a few pages long, I was very impressed with what I saw. For starters, it contained an image of Summers which I'd never seen before:
It also features contemporary reviews of the book, as well as Summers' correspondence...with Dennis Wheatley, no less. We're also treated to a chronology of events in the mysterious Summers' life. As John noted (September 1 at 7:49am), I'm not the only person who's blogged about the book.
I had a feeling I knew who he was referring to, and it was confirmed when I saw his link to the FoBSM blog. I noticed they'd pilfered some content from my blog entry (the parts showing which contributor wrote what). On the plus side, it's good to see the Friends of Bishop Seán Manchester take time out from their usual practice—cyber-bullying Manchester's critics—in order to plug the book.
It's also refreshing to see something not written by Manchester or Peter Underwood (Life Member of Manchester's Vampire Research Society) appear on their blog. Such is the esteem with which Summers is held by the Bishop and his friends. Of course, considering that Manchester views himself as something akin to a reincarnation of the late cleric, it's not all that surprising.
Anyway, I also took the opportunity to ask John whether there'd be a critical edition of Summers' follow-up vampire book, The vampire in Europe (1929). On Friday, he told me the book had 'been contracted and is expected out late this year/early next year'. Hell yeah.
Can't wait to get my copy. If you're interested in scoring your own, it's available through Amazon.