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Twilight and History

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The first look at the history behind Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight series, timed to release with the third movie, Eclipse. The characters of the Twilight Saga carry a rich history that shapes their identities and actions over the course of the series. Edward, for instance, may look like a seventeen-year-old teen heartthrob, but was actually born in 1901 and died d The first look at the history behind Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight series, timed to release with the third movie, Eclipse. The characters of the Twilight Saga carry a rich history that shapes their identities and actions over the course of the series. Edward, for instance, may look like a seventeen-year-old teen heartthrob, but was actually born in 1901 and died during the Spanish Influenza of 1918. His adopted sister, Alice, was imprisoned in an insane asylum in 1920 and treated so badly there that even becoming a vampire was a welcome escape. This book is the first to explore the history behind the Twilight Saga's characters and their stories. You’ll learn about what life might have been like for Jasper Whitlock Hale, the Confederate vampire who fought during the Civil War, Carlisle Cullen, the Puritan witch hunter-turned-vampire who participated in the witchcraft persecutions in Early Modern England, and the history of the Quileute culture that shaped Jacob and his people —and much more. Gives you the historical backdrop for Twilight Saga characters and events Adds a whole new dimension to the Twilight novels and movies Offers fresh insights on vampires, romance, and history Twilight and History is an essential companion for every Twilight fan, whether you've just gotten into the series or have followed it since the beginning.


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The first look at the history behind Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight series, timed to release with the third movie, Eclipse. The characters of the Twilight Saga carry a rich history that shapes their identities and actions over the course of the series. Edward, for instance, may look like a seventeen-year-old teen heartthrob, but was actually born in 1901 and died d The first look at the history behind Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight series, timed to release with the third movie, Eclipse. The characters of the Twilight Saga carry a rich history that shapes their identities and actions over the course of the series. Edward, for instance, may look like a seventeen-year-old teen heartthrob, but was actually born in 1901 and died during the Spanish Influenza of 1918. His adopted sister, Alice, was imprisoned in an insane asylum in 1920 and treated so badly there that even becoming a vampire was a welcome escape. This book is the first to explore the history behind the Twilight Saga's characters and their stories. You’ll learn about what life might have been like for Jasper Whitlock Hale, the Confederate vampire who fought during the Civil War, Carlisle Cullen, the Puritan witch hunter-turned-vampire who participated in the witchcraft persecutions in Early Modern England, and the history of the Quileute culture that shaped Jacob and his people —and much more. Gives you the historical backdrop for Twilight Saga characters and events Adds a whole new dimension to the Twilight novels and movies Offers fresh insights on vampires, romance, and history Twilight and History is an essential companion for every Twilight fan, whether you've just gotten into the series or have followed it since the beginning.

30 review for Twilight and History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    No, no, no, no, no! NO! I was APPALLED!! Simply appalled at this book. Especially one chapter really set me off; the fairy tale chapter. In this chapter the author, Sarah Buttsworth (each chapter has a different author), flat out says that the only reason why Bella chose Edward over Jacob was because Edward had the fundings to elevate her out of her 'middle class' social status and the ability to make her beautiful and young forever. She even says, that Bella dumps Jacob because of his race! And No, no, no, no, no! NO! I was APPALLED!! Simply appalled at this book. Especially one chapter really set me off; the fairy tale chapter. In this chapter the author, Sarah Buttsworth (each chapter has a different author), flat out says that the only reason why Bella chose Edward over Jacob was because Edward had the fundings to elevate her out of her 'middle class' social status and the ability to make her beautiful and young forever. She even says, that Bella dumps Jacob because of his race! And this she justifies by calling it 'the American Dream'! After I read this part I was so put out that the rest of the book made me extremely negative, and I fianlly just threw it away. I simply couldn't keep reading. I might not be the biggest Twilight fan anymore, but I still do love the books and to have them degraded like this was simply too much! NO!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    This book is very well done in many ways, has a lot of information and is well structured. It is easy to read for the most part and you notice that it doesn't have one but several authors. How accurate the information is I cannot tell since I do not have the necessary background for it in most cases. So I would definitely never recommend this to anyone whom I think lacks the necessary critical mindset for it. Overall I would say the book is ok, but there are several problems in the different part This book is very well done in many ways, has a lot of information and is well structured. It is easy to read for the most part and you notice that it doesn't have one but several authors. How accurate the information is I cannot tell since I do not have the necessary background for it in most cases. So I would definitely never recommend this to anyone whom I think lacks the necessary critical mindset for it. Overall I would say the book is ok, but there are several problems in the different parts and chapters that make it a rather challenging book in my eyes, therefore I gave it all in all only 2 stars and not 3. It starts early on, e.g. I would not call Twilight a world-building exercise that’s been thought out down to the last detail, including a body of imagined lore and myth. I think it's rather shallow and not thought through. And stating werewolves who can change form at a moment’s notice, liberated from the moon’s cycle as unlike any we’ve seen reveals the author's ignorance on the matter of werewolves. Sadly this shows later. While some authors of the different chapters seem very capable, others seem to have taken Meyer's world for really being a world-building exercise despite the fact that she (as the second last author pointed out) never even built a mythology for her vampires, unlike most other famous authors, and in many ways it's obvious that her invented character histories would be very unlikely for their alleged time. I think the introduction already, with all its praise and the like, gives Meyer way more credit than she deserves. The historical backgrounds of her characters are incredibly flawed and rather informed by her own notions and desires than any actual history. The first part the book has been very interesting (e.g. showing how Edward's alleged background doesn't fit the first two decades of the 20th century) and while in the second chapter the similarities between the werewolf-vampires treaty and the ones between the Quileute and the American Government are interesting I at once wonder what the author actually wants to say and I also think she gave Meyer way too much credit, sadly that is what many later authors did as well. The last two chapters deal with the influence of fairy tales, especially Disney's sanitized versions, and the different courting practices at the time of Edward's human days. End while they are interesting, they are sadly not very memorable in my eyes. Part 2 of the book was looking at all the Cullens and while the chapter about Jasper was interesting it seems the author does not write about the book Jasper but how he would have been in real life. The way she writes makes it look as though Meyer did tons of research for Jasper, when usually she sucks at stuff like this, as her books proved. The second chapter dealing with Emmet is at once very interesting and totally ridiculous. The third chapter on Alice tries to build a history of possible torture for Alice and confuses foretelling the future with symptoms of insanity. Also it states that her past enabled her to not feel the effects of the vampire venom when in truth her constructed past should have left her with brain damage and not higher pain tolerance. The fourth chapter about Carlisle itself provides evidence on how unlikely Carlisle background is for early to mid 17th century would have been, but treats it as likely and well thought through nonetheless. All these chapters have a lot of historical information, no doubt, but they seem to assume that Meyer has thought everything through regarding the characters and seem to ignore how many things she got wrong and screwed up in her books. But if that amount of effort on her part were true she would have had such information in the books or in her official Twilight guide and of course she had none of them. Why? Just why? The info is interesting but it reads even more like a "look what would fit Meyer's book somehow" than an actual analysis The fifth chapter of part 2 is also the second chapter on Jasper. But unlike the first four chapters this one doesn't have the underlying praise of Stephenie Meyer, neither the habit of constructing a fictional past. The chapter points out the similarities between the status of Jasper in the books and the status the American South has in peoples' minds these days. A very interesting and thought provoking chapter. The last chapter of part 2 was a joke; it was so bad that I couldn't finish it. The author actually things the Cullens are a mix of different family types and things that they are not traditional and that among them there is male female equality. I think it is crap, the Cullens have a clear patriarchal structure and among the couples there is always one dominating the other. They are in line with older family structures where several families lived under the same roof. Kinda like fundamentalist mormons. Things were a bit better again in the third part of the book. The chapter on similarities between the Volturi and Medici is interesting and very informative, but sadly, like so many chapters in this book gives Meyer too much credit. It is based on the premise that everything important in her books was thought through but as her Twilight Guide suggests, nothing could be further from the truth. And the author of this chapter does not seem to know that and it shows. The chapter shows in my mind what the Volturi could have been if Meyer had chosen to have them be more than comic book villains in her 4th book. The third chapter on where the Cullens actually fit historical and folklore wise was my favorite of the book. Well written, doesn't claim that Twilight is thought through and shows the many errors it has and also how new the folkloric vampire actually is. After the previous chapter the last one is pretty much a disappointment. The author has no idea how unrealistic many of the Cullen's backgrounds are and goes the way part 2 of the book did, by treating Meyer's world as though it was well structured and well researched. The problem with this book overall is that it makes the Twilight series look much better written and thought through than it actually is. Had Stephenie Meyer been a capable writer all these things hinted in this book could have been true and the Twilight series actually been worthy of such deep historical and character analysis, but the fact is that Meyer did a very poor job and so all this attention to the Meyerverse remains unjustified. If future writers want to do it better, take a look at this book, it contains a lot of good things, but sadly most of its information and praise is wasted on a book series that simply isn't worth it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    I'm a history buff so this was right up my alley. Twilight & History basically gives us a historical backdrop for the Twilight Saga characters and events, and is a compilation of essays from various authors, including YA author Andrea Cremer. I have to say, the essays did give a whole new dimension to the novels and by extension, the movies. While we can't be sure if Stephenie Meyer intended to mean certain things or portray a character in a certain way, it was definitely interesting to see how o I'm a history buff so this was right up my alley. Twilight & History basically gives us a historical backdrop for the Twilight Saga characters and events, and is a compilation of essays from various authors, including YA author Andrea Cremer. I have to say, the essays did give a whole new dimension to the novels and by extension, the movies. While we can't be sure if Stephenie Meyer intended to mean certain things or portray a character in a certain way, it was definitely interesting to see how other people saw the characters and it was nice to see the characters before a historical backdrop. Some essays were indeed dry, and I didn't agree with all of them, particularly one that suggested Jacob and Bella were doomed to fail because of his race, and that Bella married Edward because he had the financial means to help her move up the socio-economic ladder. Still, I find this a better compilation than A New Dawn and it was an interesting read. Now, if I can just find enough time to read the Official Illustrated Guide... 3.5 stars from me!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Edacheeky

    YES!!! THIS IS WHAT I WANT!! CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT AND LEARN ABOUT THEIR BACKSTORIES! :) YES!!! THIS IS WHAT I WANT!! CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT AND LEARN ABOUT THEIR BACKSTORIES! :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Shut up. It has a section on Jasper...

  6. 5 out of 5

    SSShafiq

    Aug 2020: I think I’d looked at this book before but decided to not bother since I had no interest in reading Twilight again. With the release of Midnight Sun perhaps it’s time to give this the ol’ college try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was a surprisingly entertaining and engaging book that paired the Stephanie Meyer novels with historical contexts. Just like any academic essays, some we're better than others or more interesting than others. A few were downright stretches, but overall, this was a pretty stimulating read. I feel like it might be useful to show students an example of literary criticism that they can grasp at a beginning level. This was a surprisingly entertaining and engaging book that paired the Stephanie Meyer novels with historical contexts. Just like any academic essays, some we're better than others or more interesting than others. A few were downright stretches, but overall, this was a pretty stimulating read. I feel like it might be useful to show students an example of literary criticism that they can grasp at a beginning level.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Not bad. It was interesting to see how they tied in real historical things from Twilight. I liked the courtship chapter the best.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    VERY light book using the Twilight saga of books to explore historical topics. A gimmick, of course, but not badly done.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katya

    A very interesting read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    An interesting, but very dry read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I really liked this book. I usually hate non-fictions books. I find them dull and boring. But writing about how Twilight fits in with real history was very interesting and informative. There are different articles written by professors, teachers, authors and museum curators on various subjects. I really enjoyed learning about dating customs in Edward's time. (Especially since I want to write a Twilight fic that takes place in 1918.) Also learned about some history about the Quileute people, the Ci I really liked this book. I usually hate non-fictions books. I find them dull and boring. But writing about how Twilight fits in with real history was very interesting and informative. There are different articles written by professors, teachers, authors and museum curators on various subjects. I really enjoyed learning about dating customs in Edward's time. (Especially since I want to write a Twilight fic that takes place in 1918.) Also learned about some history about the Quileute people, the Civil War (and how Jasper fit it), the Appalachian people and stereotypes and how they fit with Emmett, and the Italian Renaissance & Medici Family and Carlisle's history is a bit off because he turned during the beginning of the Enlightenment. They were not hunting witches in his time, nor were there sewers, nor did they know what a vampire was. There was also a great article on the history of vampires in myth and pop culture. The most depressing article was the one that told what went on in the asylums and why women were committed there. It made me so angry. Alice being turned was a better fate. I wish there was an article for Rosalie and Esme though. But there was one part that mentioned that Rosalie being a good mechanic and if she never turned that when the war came she would have worked in factories, like Rosie The Riveter. Weird coincidence with the name. There are also two articles that compares Edward to Victorian fictional characters and Bella to Disney princesses. But also a third article pointed out that Bella always worrying about money makes her more like the man of the relationship. LOL It is not a long read, 261 pages. And for any die-hard Twilight fan and/or history buff it is a really good, fascinating read with a good range of topics. There is also a comparison timeline of human history and Twilight Saga history. LOL Of course the book is just for fun. So what if Twilight doesn't follow all of history's facts? When it comes to fiction there is some literary freedom and "imaginary history" comes into play. 4 out 5 feathered inked pens

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Hall

    So good I bought my own copy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alvin gordon

    Can't wait to finally read it and learn about the history of my favorite movie Can't wait to finally read it and learn about the history of my favorite movie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I only found one essay in this collection that was truly interesting, "Like Other American Families, Only Not: The Cullens and the "Ideal" Family in American History". It looks at how the Cullen family has evolved over time, the tensions in Edward and Bella's relationship, and the subversive aspects of the generally-regarded-as conservative text. Most of the others seemed to me like the author was reaching to establish connections between history and the Twilight stories. For example, "Better Tu I only found one essay in this collection that was truly interesting, "Like Other American Families, Only Not: The Cullens and the "Ideal" Family in American History". It looks at how the Cullen family has evolved over time, the tensions in Edward and Bella's relationship, and the subversive aspects of the generally-regarded-as conservative text. Most of the others seemed to me like the author was reaching to establish connections between history and the Twilight stories. For example, "Better Turned than "Cured"?" explores Alice's history as a mental patient, but looks more deeply at the history of asylums and patient treatment than it does at how that shaped Alice. And similarly for "Jasper Hale, the Oldest Living Confederate Veteran", which looks closely at the general psyche of Civil War veterans but not so much at that of Jasper Hale. Of note as somewhat interesting was "Courting Edward Cullen" by Catherine Coker which introduces the idea of a "resistant reading" where a text is read against itself. Bella and Edward have an era/culture gap due to the years between them, and they conduct their relationship inside outdated rules (by Edward's early 20th C rules), which places their love outside the current time. Bella's beloved romances are used throughout the text as commentary on her and Edward's unfolding relationship. Adding real historical elements to the story provides a resistant reading, which Coker does by placing Bella and Edward in different times, with Edward as an ordinary human, and imagining their relationship within those eras. These stories are not particularly interesting, and don't really offer much insight into the saga, but the idea of a resistant reading is intriguing. I'm moving on to Twilight and Philosophy, which I hope to be more interesting in exploring belief systems represented by the characters and their lifestyles, and I hope it explores subversive ideas within the text instead of the surface story as so much of Twilight and History does.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tally

    When I first heard about this book (thanks, Mel!), I knew I had to read it. The combination of the Twilight Saga and history was just too tempting for a geek like me to resist, and on many levels, it didn’t disappoint. Despite slight inaccuracies which don’t seem to be anyone's fault (the official companion for the Saga hasn’t been published at the time), this collection of essays is quite insightful. Some essays were more interesting, others I just felt like skipping altogether, but the beauty When I first heard about this book (thanks, Mel!), I knew I had to read it. The combination of the Twilight Saga and history was just too tempting for a geek like me to resist, and on many levels, it didn’t disappoint. Despite slight inaccuracies which don’t seem to be anyone's fault (the official companion for the Saga hasn’t been published at the time), this collection of essays is quite insightful. Some essays were more interesting, others I just felt like skipping altogether, but the beauty of such a compilation is its variety – it covers a large verge of topics so that everyone can find a point of interest there. Risking in sounding like a geek again I'd also say that reading this collection made me miss the days of reading this type of academic essays nonstop. This is another thing I like about it – that it seems to aim for the slightly older Twilight fans. Most of the other merch is aimed for the younger fans out there, so it's nice to see a product, and even better, a book, that manages to rise above that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aro

    As a non-Twilight fan and a budding academic, to me it seemed that some authors were willing to overlook facts and cut corners in their articles. However, the majority of them aren't irritatingly obvious about it (though while reading "Like Other American Families, Only Not" I felt like calling "Objection!" every two minutes) and argue their statements fairly well. All in all, I personally enjoyed learning more about American culture and collected many interesting sources from the bibliographies As a non-Twilight fan and a budding academic, to me it seemed that some authors were willing to overlook facts and cut corners in their articles. However, the majority of them aren't irritatingly obvious about it (though while reading "Like Other American Families, Only Not" I felt like calling "Objection!" every two minutes) and argue their statements fairly well. All in all, I personally enjoyed learning more about American culture and collected many interesting sources from the bibliographies.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I picked this up because I had students writing on the book for their final essays and I wanted to be aware of the research materials available to them. There's nothing in here that a reasonably educated adult would not already be aware of, but for someone who hasn't really studied history and/or a younger reader, this could be a valuable book for providing context and interesting background on the characters. Scholarly essays, but accessibly written; a lot of speculative history, i.e. 'if this I picked this up because I had students writing on the book for their final essays and I wanted to be aware of the research materials available to them. There's nothing in here that a reasonably educated adult would not already be aware of, but for someone who hasn't really studied history and/or a younger reader, this could be a valuable book for providing context and interesting background on the characters. Scholarly essays, but accessibly written; a lot of speculative history, i.e. 'if this character were alive in his own time he could have/might have/ probably did this-or-that'.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I really enjoyed this historical (and sometimes philosophical) perspective on the series. I think the comparison of the Volturi to the Renaissance Medici family was brilliant! The book addresses the accurate as well as the inconsistent histories concerned in Meyer's novels with an intellectual yet lighthearted and affectionate air. I really enjoyed this historical (and sometimes philosophical) perspective on the series. I think the comparison of the Volturi to the Renaissance Medici family was brilliant! The book addresses the accurate as well as the inconsistent histories concerned in Meyer's novels with an intellectual yet lighthearted and affectionate air.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Misty D

    This book was actually pretty interesting...except for the fact that most of the history they mention...I already knew. Though taking a work of fiction and telling the non-fiction truths behind the story is always fun.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine Sierakowski

    Found this book to be a complete waste of my time. I loved the Twilight series and found myself reading the entire series four times. But this book had nothing important and nothing I didn't already know. I'm sure you can find something better to spend your time and money on. Found this book to be a complete waste of my time. I loved the Twilight series and found myself reading the entire series four times. But this book had nothing important and nothing I didn't already know. I'm sure you can find something better to spend your time and money on.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mell

    Had to return this to library but it's good. Had to return this to library but it's good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Soozie Bea

    Not fond of Twilight as part of the vampiric literature genre - but enjoyed this look into the historic parallels with reality.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    I enjoyed reading more background on some of the characters that you don't know a whole lot about, mainly the wolves. I enjoyed reading more background on some of the characters that you don't know a whole lot about, mainly the wolves.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Lazaridou

    Please don't be a huge fuck up like so others I have read.Don't make me say I wasted me money on you Please don't be a huge fuck up like so others I have read.Don't make me say I wasted me money on you

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Killian

    A wonderful idea, but falls flat when trying to use history to justify Edward and Bella's relationship. The essays about the other characters were wonderful though. A wonderful idea, but falls flat when trying to use history to justify Edward and Bella's relationship. The essays about the other characters were wonderful though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Henrietta

    i actually found this to be better than the twilight books. don't hate me. i did enjoy it a lot i actually found this to be better than the twilight books. don't hate me. i did enjoy it a lot

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I wasn't into it enough to finish it after starting the audiobook twice. Interesting perspective in understanding what could be the underlying appeal to the series. I wasn't into it enough to finish it after starting the audiobook twice. Interesting perspective in understanding what could be the underlying appeal to the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mars Montufar

    I'm not fond of this series, but I guess it was ok I'm not fond of this series, but I guess it was ok

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joseph David

    i think this is awesome

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