Synopsis

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count Dracula and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into questions of human identity and sanity, and illuminating dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Characters

Dracula

He is the vampire who has been “Un-Dead” for several hundred years and keeps his vitality by sucking blood from live victims. He is the Transylvanian Count for whom the book is named after. Count Dracula is described as being a “tall old man, clean shaven, save for a long white mustache and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of color about him anywhere.”  With astonishing vitality, as is witnessed every time that he appears in a difficult situation. His aim to move to London is the reason theat Harker Travels to Transylvania

Jonathan Harker 

A London solicitor who is sent to Transylvania to finalize a real estate deal,in England for Count Dracula. His journals record the essential facts of his journey from Bistritz to the Borgo Pass.
where he is met by Count Dracula’s carriage, as well as recording the facts of his arrival and stay at the Castle Dracula. Harker is engaged to a young schoolmistress named Mina Murray.

Miss Mina (Wilhelmina) Murray 

An orphan and Jonathan Harker’s fiancée who will become a “persecuted maiden” during the latter part of the story. She works as an assistant schoolmistress. She will later become Mina Harker and assist in tracking down Count Dracula.

Miss Lucy Westenra 

Mina Murray’s closest friend. A young woman of nineteen who becomes engaged to Arthur Holmwood. Her penchant for sleepwalking allows her to become Dracula’s first victim,  becoming one of the “Un-Dead.”

Mrs. Westenra 

The Mother of Lucy who is dying of a heart ailment and becomes another victim of the vampire.

Arthur Holmwood 

A twenty-nine years old, only son of Lord Godalming; so will later inherit this title after the death of his father. With his engagement to Lucy and the necessity of driving a stake through her heart after she is one of the “Un-Dead” motivates Holmwood to join in tracking down and exterminating Dracula.

Dr. John Seward 

Seward is the head of a lunatic asylum and about the same age as Holmwood. He is an intelligent and determined man and is the doctor in charge of R. M. Renfield, as well as being one of Lucy’s suitors.

Quincey P. Morris 

Morris is a wealthy American from Texas, as well as one of Lucy’s suitors. whose great wealth allows him to pay many of the expenses in tracking down Dracula.

Dr. Abraham Van Helsing  M.D., Ph.D., D.Litt., as well as an attorney. 

Helsing has a profound understanding of the occult, medicine and folklore allows him to take care of lLucy’s illness and identify it as Vampirism. A lonely, old bachelor with fatherly tendencies, from Amsterdam, In addition to looking after Lucy he is also in charge of the strategy of finding Count Dracula.

R. M. Renfield 

Dr. Seward’s patient, a huge lumbering man of 59 who comes under the influence of Dracula

Mr. Swales 

The old man who lives in Whitby, the site of Count Dracula’s landing in England, who gets to know Lucy and Mina. He  sense the coming danger but is not believed

Quotes

3 May. Bistritz. Left Munich at 8.35pm, on 1 May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46pm, but train was an hour late.

Opening line

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting

Chapter 1

Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor’s clerk sent out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner?

chapter 2

When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demonaic fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.

Chapter 2

I bent over him, and tried to find any sign of life, but in vain.

Chapter 4

The man was simply fastened by his hands, tied one over the other, to a spoke of the wheel. Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix.”

Chapter 7

Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great, whirling circles.

Chapter 8

No man knows till he experiences it, what it is like to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the woman he loves

Chapter 10

In trance she died, and in trance she is Un-Dead, too… There is no malign there, see, and so it make it hard that I must kill her in her sleep

Chapter 15

The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness.

Chapter 16

This boy will some day know what a brave and gallant woman his mother is. Already he knows her sweetness and loving care; later on he will understand how some men so loved her, that they did dare much for her sake

Last line

About Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker

Early life

Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born on 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland  8th November 1847, the third of Seven children. His parents were Abraham Stoker (1799–1876)  a senior civil servant, from Dublin and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley (1818–1901), who was raised in County Sligo.

Stoke was bedridden with an unknown illness until the age of seven when he started school Educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. Excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete, participating in multiple sports) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. 

He graduated with a BA in 1870, and pursued his MA in 1875. He was auditor of the College Historical Society (the Hist) and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.

career

Becoming interested in the theatre as a student due to  his friendship of Dr. Maunsell. Stoker became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, while working for the Irish Civil service, which at the time was  co-owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, an author of Gothic tales. 

Even thoughTheatre critics were held in low esteem, Stoker got noticed due to the quality of his reviews. When, he gave a favourable review of Henry Irving’s Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin, in December 1876.  Irving  Stoker was invited to dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel by Irving, becoming friends. 

Stoker also wrote stories, while a civil servant in Dublin, furthermore, he possessed an interest in art, and founded in 1879 the Dublin Sketching Club.

Lyceum Theatre

By Domer48 (talk) (Uploads) – Own work, Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17566992

In 1878, Stoker married Florence Balcombe, a celebrated beauty, whose former suitor was  Oscar Wilde.  Wilde and Stoker knew each other from their student days, having proposed him for membership of the university’s Philosophical Society while he was president. However after Wilde’s fall Stoker visited him on the Continent.

Moving to London, where Stoker became acting manager and then business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years.

Bram and Florence’s only child was born on the 3st1 December 1879, a son who they called Irving Noel Thornley Stoker. 

Stroker’s friendship withHenry Irving meant that he was involved in London’s high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related). 

In the course of Irving’s tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel. Stoker enjoyed the United States, where Irving was popular. 

Bram Stoker in Cruden Bay

By Mikey Shepherd – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81209325

Stoker visited Cruden Bay in Scotland reguly between 1893 and 1910. His month-long holidays to the Aberdeenshire coastal village provided a large portion of available time for writing his books. He started writing Dracula here in 1895 while in residence at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel.The nearby Slains Castle (also known as New Slains Castle) is linked with Bram Stoker and plausibly provided the visual palette for the descriptions of Castle Dracula during the writing phase. A distinctive room in Slains Castle, the octagonal hall, matches the description of the octagonal room in Castle Dracula.

Writings

Stoker visited the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, and that visit was said to be part of the inspiration for Dracula. He began writing novels while working as manager for Irving and secretary and director of London’s Lyceum Theatre,  .He published his Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving in 1906, after Irving’s death, which proved successful.

Before writing Dracula, Stoker met Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian-Jewish writer and traveller (born in Szent-György, Kingdom of Hungary now Svätý Jur, Slovakia). Dracula likely emerged from Vámbéry’s dark stories of the Carpathian mountains. Stoker then spent several years researching Central and East European folklore and mythological stories of vampires.

Death

By Dadamax – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17908130

After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St George’s Square, London on 20 April 1912. Some biographers attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis, others to overwork.He was cremated, and his ashes were placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium in north London. The ashes of Irving Noel Stoker, the author’s son, were added to his father’s urn following his death in 1961. The original plan had been to keep his parents’ ashes together, but after Florence Stoker’s death, her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of Rest.

Bibliography

Novels

TitlePublication
The Primrose Path1875
The Snake’s Pass1890
The Writer’s Mou’1895
The Shoulder of Shasta1895
Dracula1897
Miss Betty1898
The Mystery of the Sea1902
The Jewel of the Seven Stars1903, Revised 1912
The Man (also The Gates of Life)1905
Lady Athlyne1908
The Lady of the shroud1909
The Lair of the White Woman (a;so The Garden Evil)1911, postumously abridged 1925
Seven Golden Buttons (written in 1891, much material reused in Miss Betty)2015, posthumously published
Novels

Short Story Collections

TitleDate
Under the Sunset1881
Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party1908
Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories1914
Poems

Uncollected Stories

TitleDate of Earlist apperanceEarliest appearanceNovelisation
The Crystal CupSeptember 1872London Society
(London)
Buried Treasures13 March 1875 and 20 March 1875The Shamrock
(Dublin)
The Chain of Destin1 May 1875 and 22 May 1875The Shamrock
(Dublin)
“The Dualitists; or, The Death Doom of the Double Born”1886The Theatre Annual (London)
The Gombeen Man1889-1990The People
(London)
Chapter 3 of The Snake’s Pass
Lucky Escapes of Sir Henry Irving1890
The Night of the Shifting BogJanuary 1891Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review Vol. VI. No. 1. (New York)
Lord Castleton Explains30 January 1892The Gentlewoman: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Gentlewomen (London)Chapter 10 of The Fate of Fenella (Hutchinson, 1892)
Old Hoggen: A Mystery1893
The Man from ShorroxFebruary 1894The Pall Mall Magazine (London)
The Red StockadeSeptember 1894The Cosmopolitan: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine (London)
When the Sky Rains Gold1894
At the Watter’s MouNovember 1895Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review Vol. XVIII. No. 5. (New York)
Our New House20 December 1895Boston Herald
(Boston)
Bengal Roses1898
A Yellow Duster7 May 1899Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper
(London)
A Young Widow1899
A Baby Passenger1899
The Seer1902The Mystery of the Sea (New York: Doubleday, Page & Co.)Chapters 1 and 2 of The Mystery of the Sea
The Bridal of Death1903The Jewel of the Seven Stars (London: William Heinemann)Alternate ending to The Jewel of Seven Stars
What They Confessed: A Low Comedian’s Story1908
The ‘Eroes of the ThameOctober 1908The Royal Magazine (London)
The Way of Peace1909Everybody’s Story Magazine (London)
Greater LoveOctober 1914The London Magazine (London)

Comment below on your opinions on this book or any other work by Bram Stoker

If you want similar content Like, Follow or Share

Above all keep safe and treat people fairly.