Count Alexis Constantinovich Tolstoy, cousin to Leo, wrote these stories in the early 1800's and they carry on with a kind of creaky elegance. ""The Vampire"" follows the adventures of one Runevsky who meets a madman at a party claiming that some of the guests indulge in after-midnight snacks. One of these is the grandmother of the girl Runevsky loves and it all ties in with an ancient curse and a prophecy. In lesser stories, characters find themselves confronted with members of their family who are vourdalaks (vampires who specialize in bloodlines and loved ones), a banquet filled with lost souls from hell returned after 300 years, and even Venus herself out to seduce a Christian away from his God. Mainly a collector's oddity.