Sunday 9 May 2010

Unholy Awakening

I love looking at the NEW TITLES section in the Bookseller for inspiration, and this one really grabbed my attention:

"Michael Gregorio, Unholy Awakening, to be published on 5th August by Faber

Fourth novel in the Hanno Stiffeniis series from the husband-and-wife writing team. In 19th-century Prussia corpses are turning up everywhere with their throats ripped out, and the blood drained from the body. People are whispering about vampires and Magistrate Stiffeniis must investigate."

Stephen Page told me they had banned vampires from their list – this one must have slipped through.

What is that noise, you ask? Nothing, just TS Eliot turning in his grave.



  1. “Unholy Awakening,” the fourth novel featuring magistrate Hanno Stiffeniis (a disciple of the Prussian rationalist, Immanuel Kant), focuses on the terror of vampires which is recorded in the ancient chronicles of Europe, including East Prussia, where Michael Gregorio’s novels are set.
    The Catholic church took the matter very seriously. Vampirism was the subject of a remarkable treatise published in 1741 by Giuseppe Davanzati, Archbishop of Trani in southern Italy. And the social unrest provoked by fear of vampires led Maria Theresa of Austria to promulgate laws which prohibited the desecration of ‘suspect’ corpses in 1755, laws which were adopted and rigorously enforced in East Prussia.
    “Unholy Awakening” draws on these and other contemporary sources.
    Vampires have very little to do with Stephanie Meyers, or the great Bram Stoker. Their cultural history is a great deal older, and it is much more intriguing.
    Then again, let’s hope that T.S. Eliot is happily settled in his tomb by now.
    Michael Gregorio.

  2. Intriguing. I have been many times to Trani, one of my favourite towns in Italy, and I'll check your book out. You should have a word with Faber's publicity department – or with the Bookseller . . .




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