1897 Dracula Bram Stoker Horror
Gothic Novel Transylvania Vampires
Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by
Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire
Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from
Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of
men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
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author: Bram Stoker; Michael J North
Published: New York : Grosset & Dunlap, ©1897.
Provenance: Wells Drug Company -
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wear as seen in photos
covers have a slight wiggle at hinges; front cover attached by netting
complete with all 354 pages; plus indexes, prefaces, and such
New York : Grosset & Dunlap, ©1897.
X 5in (19cm x 12.5cm)
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is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.
for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the
story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England, and the battle
between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van
has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror
fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. The novel touches on themes
such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions,
immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent
the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous
theatrical, film and television interpretations.
Reaction and scholarly criticism
Historical and geographical references
Notes for Dracula
Notes and references
handwritten notes on the personnel of the novel.
story is told in epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary entries,
ships' log entries, and so forth. The main writers of these items are also the
novel's protagonists. The story is occasionally supplemented with newspaper
clippings that relate events not directly witnessed by the story's characters.
The events portrayed in the novel take place largely in England and
Transylvania during 1893.
tale begins with Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor,
journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula's crumbling,
remote castle (situated in the Carpathian Mountains on the border of
Transylvania, Bukovina, and Moldavia). The purpose of his mission is to provide
legal support to Dracula for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's
employer, Peter Hawkins, of Exeter in England. At first enticed by Dracula's
gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the
castle. He also begins to see disquieting facets of Dracula's nocturnal life.
One night while searching for a way out of the castle, and against Dracula's
strict admonition not to venture outside his room at night, Harker falls under
the spell of three wanton female vampires, Brides of Dracula (referred to only
as "the sisters" in the novel). He is saved at the last second by the
Count, because he wants to keep Harker alive just long enough to obtain needed
legal advice and teachings about England and London (Dracula's planned travel
destination so as to be among the "teeming millions"). After the
preparations are made, Dracula leaves the castle and abandons Harker to the
brides. He barely escapes from the castle with his life.
long afterward, a Russian ship, the Demeter, having weighed anchor at Varna,
runs aground on the shores of Whitby, England, during a fierce tempest. All of
the crew are missing and presumed dead, and only one body is found, that of the
captain tied to the ship's helm. The captain's log is recovered and tells of
strange events that had taken place during the ship's journey. These events led
to the gradual disappearance of the entire crew apparently owing to a malevolent
presence on board the ill-fated ship. An animal described as a large dog is
seen on the ship leaping ashore. The ship's cargo is described as silver sand
and boxes of "mould", or earth, from Transylvania.
Dracula is tracking Harker's devoted fiancée, Wilhelmina "Mina"
Murray, and her friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy receives three marriage proposals
in one day, from Dr. John Seward; Quincey Morris; and the Hon. Arthur Holmwood
(later Lord Godalming). Lucy accepts Holmwood's proposal while turning down Seward
and Morris, but all remain friends. Dracula has a notable encounter with
Seward's patient Renfield, an insane man who means to consume insects, spiders,
birds, and other creatures—in ascending order of size—in order to absorb their
"life force". Renfield acts as a motion sensor, detecting Dracula's
proximity and supplying clues accordingly.
begins to waste away suspiciously. All of her suitors fret, and Seward calls in
his old teacher, Professor Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam. Van Helsing
immediately determines the cause of Lucy's condition but refuses to disclose
it, knowing that Seward's faith in him will be shaken if he starts to speak of
vampires. Van Helsing tries multiple blood transfusions, but they are clearly
losing ground. On a night when Van Helsing must return to Amsterdam (and his
message to Seward asking him to watch the Westenra household is delayed), Lucy
and her mother are attacked by a wolf. Mrs. Westenra, who has a heart
condition, dies of fright, and Lucy apparently dies soon after.
is buried, but soon afterward the newspapers report children being stalked in
the night by, in their words, a "bloofer lady" (i.e., "beautiful
lady"). Van Helsing, knowing that this means Lucy has become a vampire,
confides in Seward, Lord Godalming, and Morris. The suitors and Van Helsing
track her down, and after a disturbing confrontation between her vampiric self
and Arthur, they stake her heart, behead her, and fill her mouth with garlic.
the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives home from recuperation in Budapest
(where Mina joined and married him after his escape from the castle); he and
Mina also join the coalition, who turn their attentions to dealing with
Dracula learns of Van Helsing's and the others' plot against him, he takes
revenge by visiting—and feeding from—Mina at least three times. Dracula also
feeds Mina his blood, creating a spiritual bond between them to control her.
The only way to forestall this is to kill Dracula first. Mina slowly succumbs
to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and
forth from a state of consciousness to a state of semi-trance during which she
is telepathically connected with Dracula. This telepathic connection is
established to be two-way, in that the Count can influence Mina, but in doing
so betrays to her awareness of his surroundings.
the group sterilizes all of his lairs in London by putting pieces of
consecrated host in each box of earth, Dracula flees back to his castle in
Transylvania, transported in a box with transfer and portage instructions
forwarded, pursued by Van Helsing's group, who themselves are aided by Van
Helsing hypnotizing Mina and questioning her about the Count. The group splits
in three directions. Van Helsing and Mina camp in the forest outside the
Count's castle, where the vampire "sisters" appear and attempt to
entice Mina to join them entirely. Van Helsing manages to drive them away, and
during daylight, goes to the castle and kills them. Shortly afterwards all
converge on the Count just at sundown under the shadow of the castle. Harker
and Quincey rush to Dracula's box, which is being transported by Gypsies.
Harker shears Dracula through the throat with a kukri while the mortally
wounded Quincey, slashed by one of the crew, stabs the Count in the heart with
a Bowie knife. Dracula crumbles to dust, and Mina is freed from his curse.
book closes with a note about Mina's and Jonathan's married life and the birth
of their first-born son, whom they name after all four members of the party,
but refer to only as Quincey in remembrance of their American friend.
Harker: A solicitor sent to do business with Count Dracula; Mina's fiancé and
prisoner in Dracula's castle.
Dracula: A Transylvanian noble who bought a house in London and asked Jonathan
Harker to come to his castle to do business with him.
"Mina" Harker (née Murray): A schoolteacher and Jonathan Harker's
Westenra: A 19-year-old aristocrat; Mina's best friend; Arthur's fiancée and
Dracula's first victim.
Holmwood: Lucy's suitor and later fiancé.
Seward: A doctor; one of Lucy's suitors and a former student of Dr Abraham Van
Van Helsing: A Dutch professor; Jack Seward's teacher and vampire hunter.
Morris: An American cowboy and explorer; and one of Lucy's suitors.
A lawyer whom Dracula turned mad.
of Dracula: Three siren-like vampire women who serve Dracula. Although they are
popularly known as "The Brides of Dracula", the novel never calls
1879 and 1898, Stoker was a business manager for the world-famous Lyceum
Theatre in London, where he supplemented his income by writing a large number
of sensational novels, his most famous being the vampire tale Dracula published
on 26 May 1897.:269 Parts of it are set around the town of Whitby, where he
spent summer holidays. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, authors such as H. Rider
Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, and H. G.
Wells wrote many tales in which fantastic creatures threatened the British
Empire. Invasion literature was at a peak, and Stoker's formula of an invasion
of England by continental European influences was by 1897 very familiar to readers
of fantastic adventure stories. Victorian readers enjoyed it as a good
adventure story like many others, but it would not reach its iconic legendary
status until later in the 20th century when film versions began to appear.
actor and friend of Stoker's, Sir Henry Irving was a possible real-life
inspiration for the character of Dracula, the role was tailor-made to his
dramatic presence, gentlemanly mannerisms and affinity for playing villain
roles. Irving, however, never agreed to play the part on stage.
writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and
stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard's 1885 essay,
being the most widely known vampire novel, Dracula was not the first. It was
preceded and partly inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's 1871 "Carmilla",
about a lesbian vampire who preys on a lonely young woman, and by Varney the
Vampire, a lengthy penny dreadful serial from the mid-Victorian period by James
Malcolm Rymer. The image of a vampire portrayed as an aristocratic man, like
the character of Dracula, was created by John Polidori in "The
Vampyre" (1819), during the summer spent with Frankenstein creator Mary
Shelley, her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron in 1816. The
Lyceum Theatre, where Stoker worked between 1878 and 1898, was headed by the
actor-manager Henry Irving, who was Stoker's real-life inspiration for
Dracula's mannerisms and who Stoker hoped would play Dracula in a stage
version. Although Irving never did agree to do a stage version, Dracula's
dramatic sweeping gestures and gentlemanly mannerisms drew their living
embodiment from Irving.
Dead Un-Dead was one of Stoker's original titles for Dracula, and up until a
few weeks before publication, the manuscript was titled simply The Un-Dead.
Stoker's notes for Dracula show that the name of the count was originally
"Count Wampyr", but while doing research, Stoker became intrigued by
the name "Dracula", after reading William Wilkinson's book Account of
the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations
Relative to Them (London 1820), which he found in the Whitby Library, and
consulted a number of times during visits to Whitby in the 1890s. The name
Dracula was the patronym (Drăculea) of the descendants of Vlad II of Wallachia,
who took the name "Dracul" after being invested in the Order of the
Dragon in 1431. In the Romanian language, the word dracul (Romanian drac
"dragon" + -ul "the") can mean either "the
dragon" or, especially in the present day, "the devil".
novel has been in the public domain in the United States since its original
publication because Stoker failed to follow proper copyright procedure. In the
United Kingdom and other countries following the Berne Convention on
copyrights, however, the novel was under copyright until April 1962, fifty
years after Stoker's death. When F. W. Murnau's unauthorized film adaptation
Nosferatu was released in 1922, the popularity of the novel increased
considerably, owing to the controversy caused when Stoker's widow tried to have
the film removed from public circulation.
and scholarly criticism
first American edition, Doubleday & McClure, New York.
it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller,
although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail
ranked Stoker's powers above those of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe as well
as Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.
to literary historians Nina Auerbach and David Skal in the Norton Critical
Edition, the novel has become more significant for modern readers than it was
for contemporary Victorian readers, most of whom enjoyed it just as a good adventure
story; it only reached its broad iconic legendary classic status later in the
20th century when the movie versions appeared. It did not make much money
for Stoker; the last year of his life he was so poor that he had to petition
for a compassionate grant from the Royal Literary Fund, and in 1913 his
widow was forced to sell his notes and outlines of the novel at a Sotheby’s
auction, where they were purchased for a little over 2 pounds. But when W.
Murnau's unauthorized adaptation of the story in the form of Nosferatu was
released in theatres in 1922, Stoker's widow took affaire, and during the legal
battle that followed, the novel's popularity started to grow. Nosferatu was
followed by a highly successful stage adaptation, touring the UK for three
years before arriving in US where Stoker's creation caught Hollywood's
attention, and after the American 1931 movie version was released, the book has
never been out of print. However, some Victorian fans were ahead of the
time, describing it as "the sensation of the season" and "the
most blood-curdling novel of the paralysed century". Sherlock Holmes
author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to Stoker in a letter, "I write to
tell you how very much I have enjoyed reading Dracula. I think it is the very
best story of diablerie which I have read for many years." The Daily
Mail review of 1 June 1897 proclaimed it a classic of Gothic horror, "In
seeking a parallel to this weird, powerful, and horrorful story our mind
reverts to such tales as The Mysteries of Udolpho, Frankenstein, The Fall of
the House of Usher ... but Dracula is even more appalling in its gloomy
fascination than any one of these."
good reviews appeared when the book was published in the U.S. in 1899. The
first American edition was published by Doubleday and McClure in New York.
the last several decades, literary and cultural scholars have offered diverse
analyses of Stoker's novel and the character of Count Dracula. C.F. Bentley
reads Dracula as an embodiment of the Freudian id. Carol A. Senf reads the
novel as a response to the powerful New Woman. while Christopher Craft sees
Dracula as embodying latent homosexuality. Stephen D. Arata interprets the
events of the novel as anxiety over colonialism and racial mixing, and
Talia Schaffer understands the novel as an indictment of Oscar Wilde.
Franco Moretti reads Dracula as a figure of monopoly capitalism..