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Necrophiliac Striptease

Thomas Jones: Mummies, 6 February 2014

The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Oxford, 321 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 19 969871 4
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... who died within weeks of opening the tomb of Tutankhamun in February 1923 – whose stories Roger Luckhurst reconstructs in his alluring book, which shows that the mummy’s curse is one of those traditions (like celebrating Christmas or wearing clan tartans) whose origins are supposedly lost in the mists of time but were in fact invented by the ...

Into Thin Air

Marina Warner: Science at the Séances, 3 October 2002

The Invention of Telepathy 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Oxford, 334 pp., £35, June 2002, 0 19 924962 8
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... investigators during the last three decades of the 19th century, the period dealt with in Roger Luckhurst’s study. Photography was of inestimable importance in disseminating the performance of the mediums, as well as offering a deep metaphor for the relation between external matter and immaterial thought. While the interplay between psychology ...

The Thrill of It All

Michael Newton: Zombies, 18 February 2016

Zombies: A Cultural History 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Reaktion, 224 pp., £16, August 2015, 978 1 78023 528 8
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... speaking, they stand in for almost anything. In his new cultural history of the zombie, Roger Luckhurst’s problem – and now it’s become mine – is that we always already believe we know what ‘zombie’ means. Zombies are a monster whose subtext is the text, and there’s seemingly little for the critic to disinter: they’re liminal ...

Stir and Bustle

David Trotter: Corridors, 19 December 2019

Corridors: Passages of Modernity 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Reaktion, 240 pp., £25, March 2019, 978 1 78914 053 8
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... communication through which people, things and messages pass in both directions. Mind the traffic.Roger Luckhurst’s ambitious and consistently informative cultural history of the corridor makes brief mention of The Maltese Falcon in accounting for film noir’s preoccupation with bleakly anonymous lobbies, passages and hallways. But it’s not the ...

Two Sharp Teeth

Philip Ball: Dracula Studies, 25 October 2018

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote ‘Dracula’ 
by David J. Skal.
Norton, 672 pp., £15.99, October 2017, 978 1 63149 386 7
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The Cambridge Companion to ‘Dracula’ 
edited by Roger Luckhurst.
Cambridge, 219 pp., £17.99, November 2017, 978 1 316 60708 4
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The Vampire: A New History 
by Nick Groom.
Yale, 287 pp., £16.99, October 2018, 978 0 300 23223 3
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... Few writers​ have seemed less likely to produce a modern myth than Bram Stoker, not only because of the limits of his ability and imagination but because for much of his life he was furiously overworked as house manager for Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London. Aside from Dracula, Stoker wrote nothing of note, and plenty that was excruciating ...

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