Eighteen-Bisang, Robert

Eighteen-Bisang, Robert (1947–)

(pop culture)

Robert Eighteen-Bisang, an independent Canadian scholar, is best known as the owner of the world’s largest collection of rare vampire books. He resides in Vancouver, where he attended the University of British Columbia. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1976, he worked for a time in advertising and marketing.

Eighteen-Bisang began collecting books on Dracula and vampires more than a quarter of a century ago. He worked with the likes of rare-book dealers Lloyd W. Currey (in New York) and George Locke (London), and was able to discover hundreds of rare vampire books before other collectors were aware that they existed. Along the way he purchased the core of the vampire collections assembled by Marlene Woods in Longview, Texas, and Forrest J. Ackerman in Hollywood.

Eighteen-Bisang’s foremost interests are the vampire myth as it appears in literature, popular culture, and in bibliographic research. Over the years, he has shared his knowledge with numerous scholars and collectors. He has written articles for and acted as an advisor to dozens of books—including four annotated editions of Dracula and several encyclopedias.

Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula (2008), which he co-authored with Elizabeth Miller, has been received as a core academic text for the study of Dracula and vampires, and received glowing reviews. Famous Monsters of Filmland nominated his book “the best book of the year” and it won the Lord Ruthven Award for “best vampire book of 2008.” His expertise has been recognized by invitations to speak across North America and in 1997 he was one of the guests of honor at “Dracula ‘97” in Los Angeles. He is also the founder of Transylvania Press, Inc., the first company to reprint Bram Stoker’s abridged edition of Dracula. His is also credited with the discovery of Hutchinson’s colonial edition of Dracula, possibly the true first edition of Bram Stoker’s macabre fairy tale; demonstrating that parts of Dracula are based on the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888; and proving that one of Sherlock Holmes‘s cases, “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client,” was a rationalized (and, some say, plagiarized!) adaptation of Dracula. University Affairs recently cited him as one of the leading independent scholars in Canada.

As this encyclopedia goes to press, Eighteen-Bisang is working on two books with Martin H. Greenberg—Sherlock Holmes v. Dracula and Vampire Lists—and a definitive, three-volume vampire bibliography, with J. Gordon Melton.

Sources:

Eighteen-Bisang, Robert. “Dracula, Jack the Ripper and ‘A Thirst for Blood.’” The Jack the Ripper Casebook, 2008. Posted at http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/rip-thirst.html. Accessed on April 5, 2010.
———. “Dracula by Arthur Conan Doyle” in The Sherlock Holmes Journal (December 2009).
———. “Hutchinson’s Colonial Edition of Dracula” Transylvania Press. Posted at http://www.transylvania.com/. Accessed on April 5, 2010.
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. Vampire Stories. Edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Martin H. Greenberg. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2009. 271 p.
Stoker, Bram. Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition. Edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008. 331 p.
Zamprelli, Pascal. “The Indie Scene.” University Affairs / Affaires universitaires (December 1, 2008).