Augustus Montague Summers was an English author and clergyman who was especially well known for his studies of vampires, witches, and werewolves. He wrote eight books on the occult including The Vampire, His Kith and Kin in 1928 and The Vampire in Europe in 1929.
One thing that struck me early on about Montague Summers was that although he’s not related to me, he would have been about the right age be my grandfather’s older brother. Montague was born in 1880. My grandfather was born in 1898. Montague died in 1948. My grandfather died in 1957. Yes, Montague was 18 years older than my grandfather, but I have a brother 15 years older than me. It doesn’t feel like much of a stretch!
Because we share a surname and because Montague wrote so extensively about vampires, I’ve long thought of him as a sort of literary grandfather. He recorded many vampire stories from all around the world. Now, it’s a fair question how good his scholarship was and as one critic says, his style is often “dense and bewildering.” Still, reading many of the legends he recorded proved to be a good way for me to break away from a lot of the vampire stereotypes and create my own fictional vampire lore.
As it turns out, I have a story coming out in Cemetery Dance Magazine that was inspired by a couple of passages from Montague Summers’ The Vampire in Europe. Over the next couple of posts, I’ll share the passages and tell how they relate to the story and how that story relates to the wider world of the Scarlet Order vampires.
If you’d like to check out the story, you can order it at: http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/_cd066
Montague Summers inspired much of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. You can pick up the book at Amazon.com.