By Margot Mifflin
Updated February 13, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Vamps: An Illustrated History of the Femme Fatale

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The mother of all vamps, Theda Bara played a sultry vampire in the 1915 film A Fool There Was and spawned a tradition that has shape-shifted throughout the century. In this brief volume, Vamps: An Illustrated History of the Femme Fatale, Keesey traces vamp lineage from the first vampire novels (which starred women as proto-Draculas) to “baby vamps” of the jazz age (Joan Crawford) to femmes fatales like Glenn Close (in Fatal Attraction). If you don’t mind your vamp history forcibly linked to silly notions about goddess worship and capped with a protracted paean to Sharon Stone, you’ll happily sink your teeth into this smart, steamy guide. B+

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Vamps: An Illustrated History of the Femme Fatale

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