You had me at Shakespeare the Vampire Hunter – preview

This September, a new book documenting the life of William Shakespeare as a vampire hunter is being released. Yes. William Shakespeare as a vampire hunter. What more do you need? I wonder if he has more skills that Abraham Lincoln?The lovely people at John Hunt Publishing; who are publishing Graham Holderness’ debut fictional novel Dark and Deep Desires, William Shakespeare, Vampire Hunter, through their imprint Top Hat Books, sent me the following press release:

What mad excitement! Gunpowder plotters, Jacobean intrigue, Transylvanian shape-shifters — all written about and evoked in rich and smoky pungent prose. It’s as if Hilary Mantel, Anthony Burgess and Bram Stoker got together at a diabolical Writers’ Conference and, after a few bottles too many in the witching hours, came up with this rollicking manuscript. Graham Holderness, our leading Shakespearean scholar, has had huge fun bringing his historical knowledge to bear upon an unmissable romp.
Roger Lewis, author of Seasonal Suicide Notes and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Who was the real architect of the Gunpowder Plot? Who was the first person to wear a Guy Fawkes mask? Why was Shakespeare’s Dark Lady dark? These and many other questions are answered in Graham Holderness’s new novel, which combines historical fiction, psychological mystery and supernatural thriller in a highly original and imaginative re-telling of the Gunpowder Plot. It is 1604. The Gunpowder Plotters are tunnelling under the palace of Westminster, and confront an immovable obstacle. Guy Fawkes travels to Europe to fetch help, and brings back more than he bargained for. Who is the mysterious Dark Lady? Who is the man in the mask? Why is London over-run by a plague of vampires, and who is going to defeat them? From a Westminster vault to a Transylvanian mine, from the crypt of Lambeth Palace to the under-stage of the Globe theatre, Black and Deep Desires takes the reader on a tour of historical, psychological and mythical underworlds, delving deep into some of history’s unexplored corridors, into the secret thoughts of Catholic terrorists, and into the dark wellsprings of Shakespeare’s poetry. In Black and Deep Desires, Graham Holderness combines the expertise of an internationally-recognised Shakespeare scholar, the narrative flair of his 2001 novel The Prince of Denmark, and the poetic sensibility that won his verse collection Craft a Poetry Book Society award.

Writer and critic Graham Holderness has published over 40 books, mostly on Shakespeare. He is acknowledged as a formative contributor to a number of branches of Shakespeare criticism and theory: criticism of Shakespeare’s history plays; cultural criticism; study of Shakespeare in film and television; textual theory and criticism; and he interplay between Shakespeare criticism and creative writing.

Graham Holderness is also a novelist, poet and dramatist. His novel The Prince of Denmark was published in 2001; his poetry collection Craeft received a Poetry Book Society award in 2002; and his play Wholly Writ was in 2011 performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, and by Royal Shakespeare Company actors in Stratford-upon-Avon.


I’m in love already.



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