Dracula
Overview
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

.

Famous for introducing the character of the vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

 Count Dracula
Count Dracula
Count Dracula is a fictional character, the titular antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and archetypal vampire. Some aspects of his character have been inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler...

, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing
Professor Abraham van Helsing is a protagonist from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula.Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc." The character is best known as a...

.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genre
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

s including vampire literature, horror fiction
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

, the gothic novel
Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

 and invasion literature
Invasion literature
Invasion literature was a historical literary genre most notable between 1871 and the First World War . The genre first became recognizable starting in Britain in 1871 with The Battle of Dorking, a fictional account of an invasion of England by Germany...

.
Encyclopedia
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

.

Famous for introducing the character of the vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

 Count Dracula
Count Dracula
Count Dracula is a fictional character, the titular antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and archetypal vampire. Some aspects of his character have been inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler...

, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing
Professor Abraham van Helsing is a protagonist from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula.Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc." The character is best known as a...

.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genre
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

s including vampire literature, horror fiction
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

, the gothic novel
Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

 and invasion literature
Invasion literature
Invasion literature was a historical literary genre most notable between 1871 and the First World War . The genre first became recognizable starting in Britain in 1871 with The Battle of Dorking, a fictional account of an invasion of England by Germany...

. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, and post-colonialism
Postcolonialism
Post-colonialism is a specifically post-modern intellectual discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialism...

. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.

Plot summary

The novel is told in epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary
Diary
A diary is a record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone...

 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 tale begins with Jonathan Harker
Jonathan Harker
Jonathan Harker is one of the main protagonists in the 1897 horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. His journey to Transylvania and encounter with Count Dracula and the Brides of Dracula at Castle Dracula constitutes the dramatic opening scenes in the novel and most of the film adaptations.-In the...

, a newly qualified English solicitor
Solicitor
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers , and a lawyer will usually only hold one title...

, journeying by train and carriage
Carriage
A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use and for comfort or elegance, though some are also used to transport goods. It may be light,...

 from England to Count Dracula
Count Dracula
Count Dracula is a fictional character, the titular antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and archetypal vampire. Some aspects of his character have been inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler...

's crumbling, remote castle (situated in the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 on the border of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

). The purpose of his mission is to provide legal support to Dracula for a real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 transaction overseen by Harker's employer, Peter Hawkins, of Exeter
Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

 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, the "Sisters
Brides of Dracula
The Brides of Dracula are characters in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. They are three seductive female vampire "sisters" who reside with Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania, where they entrance male humans with their beauty and charm, and then proceed to feed upon them...

." 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 was to be among the "teeming millions"). Harker barely escapes from the castle with his life.

Not long afterward, a Russian ship, the Demeter, having weighed anchor at Varna
Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

, runs aground on the shores of Whitby
Whitby
Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a combined maritime, mineral and tourist heritage, and is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey where Caedmon, the...

, 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
Logbook
A logbook was originally a book for recording readings from the chip log, and is used to determine the distance a ship traveled within a certain amount of time...

 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.

Soon Dracula is tracking Harker's devoted fiancée, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray
Mina Harker
Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel Dracula.- In the novel :She begins the story as Miss Mina Murray, a young school mistress who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, and best friends with Lucy Westenra...

, and her friend, Lucy Westenra
Lucy Westenra
Lucy Westenra is a fictional character in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. She is the 19-year-old daughter of a wealthy family. Her father is not mentioned in the novel and her elderly mother is simply stated as being Mrs. Westenra. Lucy is introduced as Mina Murray's best friend. In the 1931...

. Lucy receives three marriage proposals in one day, from Dr. John Seward
John Seward
John Seward, M.D. is a fictional character appearing in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.-In the novel:Seward is the administrator of an insane asylum not far from Count Dracula's first English home, Carfax. Throughout the novel, Seward conducts ambitious interviews with one of his patients,...

; Quincey Morris
Quincey Morris
Quincey P. Morris is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's horror novel Dracula.-In the novel:He is a rich young American from Texas, and one of the three suitors for the hand of Lucy Westenra. Quincey is friends with the two other suitors, Arthur Holmwood and Dr. John Seward, as well as Jonathan...

; and the Hon. Arthur Holmwood
Arthur Holmwood
Arthur Holmwood is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.-In the novel:He is engaged to Lucy Westenra, and is best friends with the other two men who proposed to her on the very same day — Quincey Morris and Doctor John Seward...

 (later Lord Godalming). Lucy accepts Holmwood's proposal while turning down Seward and Morris, but all remain friends. There is a notable encounter between Dracula and Seward's patient Renfield
Renfield
R. M. Renfield is a fictional character in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.-In the novel:A description of Renfield from the novel:R. M. Renfield, aetat 59. Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable,...

, 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.

Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously. All of her suitors fret, and Seward calls in his old teacher, Professor Abraham Van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing
Professor Abraham van Helsing is a protagonist from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula.Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc." The character is best known as a...

 from Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. 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 transfusion
Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood...

s, 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 accidentally sent to the wrong address), 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.
Lucy is buried, but soon afterward the newspapers report children being stalked in the night by a "bloofer lady" (as they describe it), 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
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 her, and fill her mouth with garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

.

Around the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives home from recuperation in Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 (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.

After 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.

After the group sterilizes all of his lairs in London, 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 goes to the Count's castle and kills his trio of brides, and 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
Kukri
The kukri is a curved Nepalese Knife, similar to the machete, used as both a tool and as a weapon...

 while mortally wounded Quincey, slashed by one of the crew, stabs the Count in the heart with a Bowie knife
Bowie knife
A Bowie knife is a pattern of fixed-blade fighting knife first popularized by Colonel James "Jim" Bowie in the early 19th Century. Since the first incarnation was created by James Black, the Bowie knife has come to incorporate several recognizable and characteristic design features, although its...

. Dracula crumbles to dust, and Mina is freed from his curse.

The 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.

Background

Between 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. Parts of it are set around the town of Whitby
Whitby
Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a combined maritime, mineral and tourist heritage, and is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey where Caedmon, the...

, where he spent summer vacations. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, authors such as H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

, Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

, Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger...

, and H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 wrote many tales in which fantastic creatures threatened the British Empire. Invasion literature
Invasion literature
Invasion literature was a historical literary genre most notable between 1871 and the First World War . The genre first became recognizable starting in Britain in 1871 with The Battle of Dorking, a fictional account of an invasion of England by Germany...

 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.

Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard
Emily Gerard
Emily Gerard was a nineteenth century author best known for the influence her collections of Transylvanian folklore had on Bram Stoker's Dracula...

's 1885 essay "Transylvania Superstitions".

Despite being the most well-known vampire novel, Dracula was not the first. It was preceded and partly inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu
Sheridan Le Fanu
Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era....

's 1871 "Carmilla
Carmilla
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla...

", about a lesbian vampire
Lesbian vampire
Lesbian vampirism is a trope in 20th century exploitation film that has its roots in Joseph Sheridan le Fanu's novella Carmilla about the predatory love of a female vampire for a young woman :...

 who preys on a lonely young woman, and by Varney the Vampire
Varney the Vampire
Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood was a Victorian era serialized gothic horror story by James Malcolm Rymer . It first appeared in 1845–47 as a series of cheap pamphlets of the kind then known as "penny dreadfuls". The story was published in book form in 1847...

, a lengthy penny dreadful
Penny Dreadful
A penny dreadful was a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing an penny...

 serial from the mid-Victorian period by James Malcolm Rymer
James Malcolm Rymer
James Malcolm Rymer was a British nineteenth century writer of penny dreadfuls, and is the probable author of Varney the Vampire and co-author of The String of Pearls , in which the notorious villain Sweeney Todd makes his literary debut.Information about Rymer is sketchy...

. The image of a vampire portrayed as an aristocratic man, like the character of Dracula, was created by John Polidori
John Polidori
John William Polidori was an English writer and physician of Italian descent. He is known for his associations with the Romantic movement and credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction. His most successful work was the 1819 short story, The Vampyre, the first vampire...

 in "The Vampyre
The Vampyre
"The Vampyre" is a short story or novella written in 1819 by John William Polidori which is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction...

" (1819), during the summer spent with Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

 creator Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

, her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron...

 and Lord Byron in 1816. The Lyceum Theatre, where Stoker worked between 1878 and 1898, was headed by the actor-manager Henry Irving
Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

, 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.

The 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
William Wilkinson (diplomat)
William Wilkinson was British Consul to the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.He wrote a book An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia: With Various Political Observations Relating to Them ....

'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 family name of the descendants of Vlad II of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

, who took the name "Dracul" after being invested in the Order of the Dragon
Order of the Dragon
The Order of the Dragon was a monarchical chivalric order for selected nobility,founded in 1408 by Sigismund, King of Hungary and later Holy Roman Emperor The Order of the Dragon (Latin Societas Draconistrarum) was a monarchical chivalric order for selected nobility,founded in 1408 by Sigismund,...

 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".

The novel has been in the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 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
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

 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.

Reaction

When it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller
Bestseller
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and...

, although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

ranked Stoker's powers above those of Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

 and Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

 as well as Emily Brontë
Emily Brontë
Emily Jane Brontë 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet, best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother...

's Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë published in 1847. It was her only novel and written between December 1845 and July 1846. It remained unpublished until July 1847 and was not printed until December after the success of her sister Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre...

.

According to literary historians Nina Auerbach
Nina Auerbach
Nina Auerbach is the John Welsh Centennial Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her special area of concentration is nineteenth-century England...

 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. 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
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 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
The Mysteries of Udolpho
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, was published in four volumes on 8 May 1794 by G. G. and J. Robinson of London. The firm paid her £500 for the manuscript. The contract is housed at the University of Virginia Library. Her fourth and most popular novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho follows...

, Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

, The Fall of the House of Usher
The Fall of the House of Usher
"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in September 1839 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. It was slightly revised in 1840 for the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque...

... but Dracula is even more appalling in its gloomy fascination than any one of these."

Similarly 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.

Historical and geographical references

Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain some historical references. The historical connections with the novel and how much Stoker knew about the history are a matter of conjecture and debate.

Following the publication of In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu
Radu Florescu
Radu Florescu is a Romanian academic who holds the position of Emeritus Professor of History at Boston College. He was Director of the East European Research Center at Boston College, and also a professor of history....

 and Raymond McNally in 1972, the supposed connections between the historical Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Bram Stoker's fictional Dracula attracted popular attention. During his main reign (1456–1462), "Vlad the Impaler" is said to have killed from 40,000 to 100,000 European civilians (political rivals, criminals and anyone else he considered "useless to humanity"), mainly by using his favourite method of impaling them on a sharp pole. The main sources dealing with these events are records by Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 settlers in neighbouring Transylvania, who had frequent clashes with Vlad III. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Turks. His impaled
Impalement
Impalement is the traumatic penetration of an organism by an elongated foreign object such as a stake, pole, or spear, and this usually implies complete perforation of the central mass of the impaled body...

 victims are said to have included as many as 100,000 Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Turks. These numbers are most likely exaggerated.

Historically, the name "Dracula" is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon
Order of the Dragon
The Order of the Dragon was a monarchical chivalric order for selected nobility,founded in 1408 by Sigismund, King of Hungary and later Holy Roman Emperor The Order of the Dragon (Latin Societas Draconistrarum) was a monarchical chivalric order for selected nobility,founded in 1408 by Sigismund,...

, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (king of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 and Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

) to uphold Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Vlad II Dracul
Vlad II Dracul
Vlad II , known as Vlad Dracul , was a voivode of Wallachia. He reigned from 1436 to 1442, and again from 1443 to 1447...

, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward, Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

age bore the dragon symbol. The name Dracula means "Son of Dracul".

Stoker came across the name Dracula in his reading on Romanian history, and chose this to replace the name (Count Wampyr) that he had originally intended to use for his villain. However, some Dracula scholars, led by Elizabeth Miller, have questioned the depth of this connection. They argue that Stoker in fact knew little of the historic Vlad III except for the name "Dracula". There are sections in the novel where Dracula refers to his own background, and these speeches show that Stoker had some knowledge of Romanian history. Stoker mentions the Dracula who fought against the Turks, and was later betrayed by his brother, historical facts which unequivocally point to Vlad III:
The Count's intended identity is later explicitly confirmed by Professor Van Helsing:
The Dracula legend as he created it, and as it has been portrayed in films and television shows, may be a compound of various influences. Many of Stoker's biographers and literary critics have found strong similarities to the earlier Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
Sheridan Le Fanu
Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era....

's classic of the vampire genre, Carmilla
Carmilla
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla...

. In writing Dracula, Stoker may also have drawn on stories about the sídhe
Sídhe
The aos sí are a supernatural race in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology are comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans...

, some of which feature blood-drinking women. The folkloric figure of Abhartach
Abhartach
Abhartach is an early Irish legend, which was first collected in Patrick Weston Joyce's The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places , which has led some to suggest that it may have been the prototype for Bram Stoker's Dracula...

 has also been suggested as a source.

It has been suggested that Stoker was influenced by the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory
Elizabeth Báthory
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. Although in modern times she has been labelled the most prolific serial killer in history, the number of murders has been debated...

, who was born in the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

. Bathory is suspected to have tortured and killed anywhere between 36 and 700 young women over a period of many years, and it was commonly believed that she committed these crimes in order to bathe in or drink their blood, believing that this preserved her youth. In Elizabeth Miller's opinion, no credible evidence of blood-drinking or other blood crimes in the Bathory case has ever been found, however the stories and influence may explain why Dracula appeared younger after feeding.

Some have claimed the castle of Count Dracula was inspired by Slains Castle
Slains Castle
New Slains Castle is a ruined castle near Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.The remains stand perched atop tall, sea-facing cliffs, constructed around an existing tower house built in 1597 by the 9th Earl of Erroll. Significant reconstruction of the castle has been...

, at which Bram Stoker was a guest of the 19th Earl of Erroll
Earl of Erroll
The Earl of Erroll is an ancient title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1453 for Sir William Hay.The subsidiary titles held by the Earl of Erroll are Lord Hay and Lord Slains , both in the Peerage of Scotland. The Earls of Erroll also hold the hereditary office of Lord High Constable...

. However, since as Stoker visited the castle in 1895—five years after work on Dracula had begun—there is unlikely to be much connection. Many of the scenes in Whitby
Whitby
Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a combined maritime, mineral and tourist heritage, and is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey where Caedmon, the...

 and London are based on real places that Stoker frequently visited, although in some cases he distorts the geography for the sake of the story.

It has been suggested that Stoker received much historical information from Ármin Vámbéry
Ármin Vámbéry
Ármin Vámbéry, Arminius Vámbéry born Hermann Bamberger, or Bamberger Ármin , was a Hungarian orientalist and traveler...

, a Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 professor he met at least twice. Miller argues "there is nothing to indicate that the conversation included Vlad, vampires, or even Transylvania" and that, "furthermore, there is no record of any other correspondence between Stoker and Vámbéry, nor is Vámbéry mentioned in Stoker's notes for Dracula."

Adaptations

The story of Dracula has been the basis for countless films and plays. Stoker himself wrote the first theatrical adaptation, which was presented at the Lyceum Theatre under the title Dracula, or The Undead shortly before the novel's publication and performed only once. Popular films include Dracula
Dracula (1931 film)
Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as the title character. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the stage play of the same name by Hamilton Deane and John L...

(1931), Dracula
Dracula (1958 film)
Dracula, also known as Horror of Dracula in the United States, is a 1958 British horror film. It is the first in the series of Hammer Horror films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Carol Marsh, Melissa Stribling and...

(alternative title: The Horror of Dracula) (1958), and Dracula (also known as Bram Stoker's Dracula) (1992). Dracula was also adapted as Nosferatu (1922), a film directed by the German director F.W. Murnau, without permission from Stoker's widow; the filmmakers attempted to avoid copyright problems by altering many of the details, including changing the name of the villain to "Count Orlok
Count Orlok
Count Orlok is a fictional character portrayed by Max Schreck in the silent movie Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens...

".

The character of Count Dracula has remained popular over the years, and many films have used the character as a villain, while others have named him in their titles, including Dracula's Daughter
Dracula's Daughter
Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the film stars Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill and, as the only cast member to return from the...

, The Brides of Dracula, and Zoltan, Hound of Dracula
Zoltan, Hound of Dracula (film)
Zoltan, Hound of Dracula is a 1978 film in which a 17th century innkeeper, played by Reggie Nalder, becomes the willing thrall to the line of Dracula.-Plot:...

. As of 2009, an estimated 217 films feature Dracula in a major role, a number second only to Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 (223 films).

Most adaptations do not include all the major characters from the novel. The Count is always present, and Jonathan
Jonathan Harker
Jonathan Harker is one of the main protagonists in the 1897 horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. His journey to Transylvania and encounter with Count Dracula and the Brides of Dracula at Castle Dracula constitutes the dramatic opening scenes in the novel and most of the film adaptations.-In the...

 and Mina Harker
Mina Harker
Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel Dracula.- In the novel :She begins the story as Miss Mina Murray, a young school mistress who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, and best friends with Lucy Westenra...

, Dr. Seward
John Seward
John Seward, M.D. is a fictional character appearing in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.-In the novel:Seward is the administrator of an insane asylum not far from Count Dracula's first English home, Carfax. Throughout the novel, Seward conducts ambitious interviews with one of his patients,...

, Dr. Van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing
Professor Abraham van Helsing is a protagonist from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula.Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc." The character is best known as a...

, and Renfield
Renfield
R. M. Renfield is a fictional character in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.-In the novel:A description of Renfield from the novel:R. M. Renfield, aetat 59. Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable,...

 usually appear as well. The characters of Mina and Lucy are often combined into a single female role. Jonathan Harker and Renfield are also sometimes reversed or combined. Quincey Morris
Quincey Morris
Quincey P. Morris is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's horror novel Dracula.-In the novel:He is a rich young American from Texas, and one of the three suitors for the hand of Lucy Westenra. Quincey is friends with the two other suitors, Arthur Holmwood and Dr. John Seward, as well as Jonathan...

 and Arthur Holmwood
Arthur Holmwood
Arthur Holmwood is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.-In the novel:He is engaged to Lucy Westenra, and is best friends with the other two men who proposed to her on the very same day — Quincey Morris and Doctor John Seward...

 are usually omitted entirely.

"Dracula's Guest"

In 1914, two years after Stoker's death, the short story "Dracula's Guest
Dracula's Guest
Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories is a collection of short stories by Bram Stoker, first published in 1914, two years after Stoker's death...

" was posthumously published. It was, according to most contemporary critics, the deleted first (or second) chapter from the original manuscript and the one which gave the volume its name, but which the original publishers deemed unnecessary to the overall story.

"Dracula's Guest" follows an unnamed Englishman traveller (whom most readers identify as Jonathan Harker, assuming it is the same character from the novel) as he wanders around Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 before leaving for Transylvania. It is Walpurgis Night
Walpurgis Night
Walpurgis Night is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is often celebrated with dancing and with bonfires. It is exactly six months from All Hallows' Eve.-Name:...

, and in spite of the coachman's warnings, the young Englishman foolishly leaves his hotel and wanders through a dense forest alone. Along the way he feels he is being watched by a tall and thin stranger (possibly Count Dracula).

The short story climaxes in an old graveyard, where in a marble tomb (with a large iron stake driven into it), the Englishman encounters a sleeping female vampire called Countess Dolingen. This malevolent and beautiful vampire awakens from her marble bier
Bier
A bier is a stand on which a corpse, coffin or casket containing a corpse, is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave.In Christian burial, the bier is often placed in the centre of the nave with candles surrounding it, and remains in place during the funeral.The bier is a flat frame,...

 to conjure a snowstorm before being struck by lightning and returning to her eternal prison. However, the Englishman's troubles are not quite over, as he is dragged away by an unseen force and rendered unconscious. He awakes to find a "gigantic" wolf lying on his chest and licking at his throat. However, the wolf merely keeps him warm and protects him until help arrives.

When the Englishman is finally taken back to his hotel, a telegram awaits him from his expectant host Dracula, with a warning about "dangers from snow and wolves and night".

External links

, text version of 1897 edition. PDF
  • Dracula, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1897. Scanned first edition from Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

    .
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula and Whitby BBC article
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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