With piercing eyes, drawn fangs, and a look borderlining seduction and hunger, Dracula has become a household name , thanks to Irish author Bram Stoker , who wrote an 1897 novel introducing the antagonist better known as the vampire Count Dracula. In this article, you will learn background regarding the author and book, as well as interesting facts concerning the novel.
While Dracula has been connected to an array of literary genres, such as horror fiction, Gothic novels, and of course, vampire literature, Bram Stoker chose to follow the structure of what is known as an epistolary novel, which involves a collection of journal entries, letters, and even newspaper clippings to refer to events linked to characters within a story. While Stoker did not create the concept of a vampire, he is given credit for advancing the popularity of vampires, which would later dominate 20th- and 21st-century theater, film, and television.
The storyline of Bram Stoker’s Dracula focuses on Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer that travels to Castle Dracula (located in the Eastern European country of Transylvania) to seal the deal on a real estate deal with a nobleman named Count Dracula. Ignoring the warnings of locals regarding his destination, Harker continues on to the castle, accepting crucifixes and other charms the pheasant along the way believe will protect him from evil. What he learns will change his life forever”¦
Facts About Dracula , the Novel
Bram Stoker spent a great deal of time researching European folklore and tales of vampires (seven years, in fact) before he sat down to pen Dracula. One of his biggest influences for his novel was an essay titled “Transylvania Superstitions” , written by Emily Gerard in 1885.
While Stoker is responsible for writing the most famous of all vampire novels, his literary interpretation was not the first. He actually found inspiration in the 1871 publication of Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla,’ which centered on a lesbian vampire who preyed on lonely young ladies. The first image of a vampire depicted as a man of aristocracy (similar to Stoker’s Dracula), came from John Polidori, who wrote ‘The Vampyre’ in 1819, which happened to be during the summer he vacationed with Mary Shelley when she first arrived at the concept of Frankenstein (in 1816).
Dracula is a far catchier title and title character name than what Stoker originally wanted to call his novel. One of his first title concepts was ‘The Dead Un-Dead.’ Up until a couple of weeks before publication, his manuscript was titled ‘The Un-Dead.’ The original name of Dracula was also “Count Wampyr”, but after conducting research pertaining to Romanian history, Stoker became highly interested in the name “Dracula.”
Since Stoker failed to follow proper copyright procedure, the novel has been in the public domain in the United States ever since the day of original publication.
After its first publication in 1897, Stoker did not enjoy immediate success. While he was compared in good light to Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, and Edgar Allen Poe, his novel was not considered an instant bestseller.
Dracula may be a work of fiction, but historical references are weaved in and out of the publication.