Rice, Anne: Taltos
(researched by Sean Frederick)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Taltos was published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, on 9/30/94. Alfred A. Knopf is a division of Random House Inc.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?


3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

242 leave
s. pp. I-XII, 1-4, 6-467, 468-472

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?


6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?


7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The book is well printed in a digitized version of the Janson font.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The book is printed on a fine quality thick durable paper that will hold up well over tim
e. The leaves appeared to be cut in groups since the individual lengths of the leaves vary within a certain grouping of pages. The color of the pages is an off-white with some of the pages having rough edges while others have smooth edges, this appears
to be a result of the manner that they were prepared in. The leaves are folded in half creating two pages of text (front and back) from the book.

11 Description of binding(s)

Black trade cloth binding with Anne Rice, Taltos, and Alfred A. Knopf printed in silver letters along the
spine. The leaves are glued onto the stiched spine in the same folded cluster as described previously.

12 Transcription of title page

The following text is centered on the title page and surrounded by a border, commas indicate a new line: Taltos, Lives of the, Mayfair Witches, Anne Rice, (image of publishers logo), Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings


15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

The dust jacket image is ├ČThe Temptation of Christ├« from Capital (attributed to Gislebertus) at Cathedral of St. Lazarus, Autun, France.

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

Other divisions of Random House Publishing, Inc., printed copies of Taltos. Ballantine Books was there first division to reprint the book. The first trade edition
from them was issued in 9/95, an international mass market edition was printed in 11/95, and finally a domestic mass market edition was made in 5/96. Random House Value Publishing was the other division that reprinted the book, in 9/96 they released a t
rade cloth version of the book.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

The first edition of Taltos was originally reprinted three times with a fifth printing occurring in 11/98 by Knopf.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

In 9/94 there were limited edition publications of Taltos. There was a trade cloth version as w
ell as well as a box set, slipcased, and/or casebound version of the book. Both of these were published by B. E. Trice Publishing.

6 Last date in print?

Taltos is still currently in print.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

Unavailable at the present time.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

Unavailable at the present time.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

The first edi
tion publisher, Knopf, placed advertisements for Taltos in conjunction with many other of its best sellers in popular newspaper book review publications. Subittted is one page from a two page Christmas advertisement from the New york Times Book Review.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

Advertisements were placed in subsequent editions of mass market paper books printed by Ballantine Books(Alfred A. Knopf was the original publisher for these books). These books included but are not limited to: The Queen of the
Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, The Witching Hour, and The Mummy.

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Random House Audiobooks released a audiocassette version of the book in 9/94. It was narrated by Tim Curry.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

There is a forthcoming translation into Spanish to be released in April
1998. It will be published by Lectorum Pubns(Juv), and entitled El Ultimo De Los Taltos.

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

Unavailable at the present time.

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

Taltos is the third novel in the trilogy concerning the Mayfair Witches. The first Novel was the Witching Hour, which was publi
shed in 1990. The second book was Lasher, which was published in 1993. Both of these books were originally published by Alfred A. Knopf and had subsequent editions published by Ballantine Books and B. E. Trice Publishing.

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Anne Rice, as many readers know her by, was born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, LA, into an Irish Catholic family. She is the daughter of Howard, a postal worker, novelist, and sculptor, and Katherine (Allen) O'Brien. It was not until circa 1947 that Anne changed her name to what we now know her by. At the tender age of fourteen, Anne suffered the lost of her mother due to alcoholism. Two years later her family relocated to Richardson, TX where she met her husband-to-be, Stan Rice (a painter and poet), in high school. Anne graduate from high school in 1959. Following graduation Anne attended Texas Woman's University for one year (1959-60) before marry Stan on October 14, 1961. After their marriage the Rices moved to San Francisco in '64 and Berkeley in '69. Their first child, Michele, was born in '72 and their second, Christopher, was born in '78. Unfortunately Michele died of leukemia before her sixth birthday. Anne completed her schooling at San Francisco State College, receiving a B.A. in 1964 and a M.A. in 1971. Anne's works as an author began to take form in her twenties when she wrote pornography and erotica. But it was not until 1973 that her first novel was written, Interview with the Vampire, in a five week period between the late hours of 10p.m. and dawn. One year later Rice met Phyllis Seidel, a literary agent, at a writers' conference who then subsequently sold the novel to Knopf for publication. Finally three years after the completion of that novel it was published to mixed reviews. That book was the first in a tremendous cascade to follow, presently Anne Rice has published eighteen novels including two under the pseudonym 'Anne Rampling' and another three under the nom de plume 'A. N. Roquelaure' as well as several short stories. Under these false names she publishes her tales of erotica through the publishing companies Dutton, New American Library, and Arbor House. Under the name Anne Rice all but one of her novels have been published by Alfred A. Knopf or an associated publishing division. Currently her agent is Jacklyn Nesbit Associates, New York, NY. Several of Rice's work have had adaptations including audiocassettes, screenplays, and graphic novels. She receives her inspiration for novels through events in her life; tapping into the pain, anger, intensity, and loss from her experiences and feeding these emotions into her incarnations of vampires, witches, mummies, and other creatures of the night. Rice's avocational interest included traveling, ancient Greek history, archaeology, and social history since the beginning of time. She enjoys watching old movies on television and is fascinated by performances of all kinds that pit one man against another or against a force. Since 1989 Rice has resided in New Orleans, living in an ante-bellum mansion with her husband and their son.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Perhaps one of the most prolific writers of this decade, Anne Rice is no stranger to brilliant reviews from critics and it could be considered odd for her to receive anything but a flattering review. However in
1994, Rice received several less than favorable reviews to the release of "Taltos," the third book in the Mayfair witches trilogy. There are many assumption which start this tale of the Mayfair witches. Complicated and not easy to follow without previou
s exposure to books of the series was what many reviewers commented about the book. But a previous knowledge of the trilogy may not necessarily help a reader as they flip the pages of this novel. A prior relationship with some of Rice's other works may
bewilder the readers as she "reintroduces characters from other series and has given them different fates," says Clea Simon of the Boston Globe. Douglas Winter, critic for the Washington Post Book World, felt that the theme and action of the book was too
similar to previous works, conveying the sensation "of covering old ground." Released on the heels of the publicity of the upcoming November release of the movie, "Interview With the Vampire," critics considered this work of Rice's hastened and underdev
eloped, coming only a year after her last release. Perhaps it was simply to coincide with the release of the major motion picture and increase publicity for the book. Although critics are quick to point out the weaknesses of the work they are just as ea
ger to denote its strengths. Says Simon, "..this hefty volume retains a fair amount of action atmosphere, betrayal, and suspense." This is a book for the true Anne Rice reader, Winter describes it as, "...a novel that demands both a taste - and a patien
ce - that has been refined by prior experience. ?Taltos' is thus certain to please the many fans of Anne Rice, but it is not likely to gain her any new readers." Despite disappointing some fans and critics, Rice has still managed to weave a tale that ca
ptivates audiences and has helped to create the author that so many adorn.

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Long Rule the Queen Anne Rice has been one of the most prolific and popular writers of the past two decades. Since her inception into the mainstream after the publication of her first book, ?Interview with the Vampire,' Rice has weaved tales about the bizarre and the super
natural that have entertained and challenged fans for years. Her books are abounding reflections of history, philosophy, religion, and personal beliefs. The characters that she has developed go beyond the ordinary limits that we perceive in this physica
l world. She has obtained a cult following that has become more popular than most of the authors of the twentieth century. Because of such a large following, her works have always been published to much anticipation and excitement. ?Taltos,' although d
isappointing some critics, was no exception and was eagerly embraced and more importantly bought by her loyal audience. To better understanding the composition of a bestseller, such as ?Taltos,' an examination of its popularity, reception into the litera
ry culture, the persona of the author, and the books effects on the public should be undertaken. ?Taltos,' published in 1994, is the third novel in the trilogy surrounding the lives of the Mayfair Witches. The first novel was the ?Witching Hour,' which was published in 1990. The second book ?Lasher' was published in 1993. Both of these books were
published to rave reviews and it would not be hard to expect that ?Taltos' would be accepted in the same manner. However with the release of ?Taltos' Rice received a few less than favorable reviews. Some critics called the book complicated and not easy
to follow without previous exposure to books of the series, because there are many assumption on which the book is based upon. They felt that the release of the book was rushed, the book itself was underdeveloped, and too similar to her previous works,
conveying the sensation of "covering old ground." Also unpopular with critics was the reintroduction of characters from other novels, but now with different fates. This however was not foreign to Rice, since she was use to inventing things including her
own life - born Howard Allen O'Brien, she changed her name when in the first grade to Anne. This alteration in the destiny of characters may be a reflection into the soul and thoughts of the everchaging Anne Rice. This negative publicity could have pot
entially helped Rice in the popularity of ?Taltos.' Readers could have been more intrigued about the book, since all they heard about Rice and her works had been good praise. Although critics were quick to point out the weaknesses of ?Taltos' they were
just as eager to denote its strengths. While they felt that the book was rushed and underdeveloped, they stated that the book still retained a fair amount of action atmosphere, betrayal, and suspense. ?Taltos' was crafted for the true Anne Rice reader r
equiring patience - patience that has been refined through experience. To understand the tale of ?Taltos,' and thus its popularity one must uncover the secrets and stories told in the prequels when the race of the Taltos were first introduce. The Taltos are a race of legendary giants that upon birth grow to be nearly seven
feet tall with full adult capabilities. A taltos comes from Hungarian folklore and is a sorcerer who combats evil witches and has the ability to detect them. From this concept Anne has created her own Taltos and it can been seen through this creation h
ow Rice likes to ties her works into history and real life. Her most notable example of a character drawn from life was the portrayal of Claudia from ?Interview with a Vampire.' Claudia was the reincarnation of Anne's daughter, Michele, whom she lost to
leukemia at the age of six. This bond to history can be further seen when the history of the persecution of the Taltos by the Celts is recounted in the book. The Taltos were forced to take refuge by disguising themselves as a human tribe known as the P
icts. The Picts were actually a tribe from Britain, that Rice was fascinated by. The Picts ruled Scotland for centuries, but disappeared leaving behind a few peculiar artifacts to prove their existence. Realistic and historical characteristics like the
se help to strengthen the basis, and thus the believability, of Rice's work. Intriguing readers of both the fantasy and factual genres. Although tied closely to history Rice provides a tale vivid and imaginative enough to transcend the everyday reader into her mythical world, walking the reader back and forth between continents and eras in time. Her storytelling skills have evolved from
childhood - when she would write tales of kids from Mars who would commit suicide - into intricate plots and descriptive passages that transport readers away from the stresses and pains of everyday life. The setting of the witches' tale begins in Rice's
own antebellum New Orleans mansion, and a tour through the house will show, room by room, where the tale starts in ?The Witching Hour' and end pages later with ?Taltos.' These are but a few of reasons that have helped to create the popularity of ?Taltos
,' and there are many more which target a larger population of Rice's readership. One of the central reasons surrounding ?Taltos's' popularity is the fact that it is the third book of a Trilogy. Despite whatever types of review that the book could have received, readers would still be interested in reading the book to finish the tale
of the trilogy. It can easily be detected how this would help to boost the popularity of the book. ?Taltos' was released shortly before the release of the motion picture ?Interview with the Vampire.' The release of this movie helped to gain Rice and n
ew readership and strengthen the one that she already had. New fans would most likely be interested in reading one of Rice's newer works, especially one on the bestseller list. With the September release of ?Taltos' and the opening of ?Interview with th
e Vampire' a few weeks later, Rice was riding the popularity of her works into one of the biggest shopping holiday's of the year, Christmas and Hanukah. People would be very likely to buy ?Taltos' as a gift for themselves or one of their friends or relat
ives, regardless if they were fans or not. The timing of the publication could not have been any better, Rice wet the pallet of readers for the movie release with the book and drew in new fans to her work after the opening of the movie. Following this p
opularity ?Taltos' became a selection of the "Book of the Month Club," with Ballantine Books printing an edition exclusively for the club. Finally, Rice's fans are on of the main reasons for her books popularity, it is not only the fans for there purchas
ing power, but for who they are. Rice, often knows as the "Queen of Gothic Horror," has a large following of the gothic community. The gothic community is fascinated by vampires and witches, devils and demons, as well as sacrifice and rituals and she as
a writer has provided this to them. Anne has since long replaced the tame figures of before, such as "Elvira, Mistress of the Night" or Morticia from the Aadams Family, and she is not close to being dethroned. The gothic community's existence and influ
ence can be most easily seen on the internet, where there are thousands of home pages devoted to the subjects, as well as thousands of links to Anne Rice's or her related pages. Anne Rice's public persona is another reason that can be attributed to ?Taltos's' popularity. Rice's literary creations contained devils, eroticism, mummies, witches, and of course vampires, mixed with a touch of New Orleans and these fictional devices
reflect aspects of her own personal life. It is this personal energy that has helped to fuel Rice's literary works and will continue to do so. Rice has placed much of herself into her work and writes about life, this it what draws readers into her well
crafted stories and keeps them turning the pages until the end. Her works reflect the immortality that she hopes to achieve, "the justification for all the pain and work and struggling and doubt." Several of the ideas for her novels are centered on the
loses (mother and daughter), pain (alcoholism), and pleasures (husband and son) that she has experienced in her life. In addition to the topics that Anne writes about, her personal contact with her fans has helped to maintain - and in some cases make mor
e popular - the success that she has achieved. Rice has created a personal newsletter called "Commotion Strange" to mail to her fans, as well as an Anne Rice Fan Line and her own official web page. The public persona that she reflects has enthralled fan
s for years and will continue to do so for many more. Rice' popularity has spread all over the world and can be seen with her works being translated into over five different languages and becoming an international recognized author. Since the publication of ?Taltos' all of Rice's newly released books have
made the bestseller list, that is four books in the past for years - her most recent "Pandora has been out for only a month and has reached the top. Other of Rice's works have adorn by artist who render them into graphic novels to reach another audience.
The impact of her work can be seen all over the world, one just has to look hard enough. But in the end the influence and the sales figure do not mean anything, it is simply how you tell the story and Anne Rice is wonderful at her job of doing so.

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