Dracula Intro Notes

Dracula Intro Notes - Bram Stoker's Dracula The tale begins...

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula The 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 and Moldavia). The purpose of his mission is to provide legal support to Dracula for a property transaction. At first seduced by Dracula’s gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle. He also begins to notice disquieting facets of Dracula’s nocturnal life. Not long afterward, a Russian ship, the Demeter, having weighed anchor at Varna, runs aground on the shores of Whitby, England, during a fierce storm. 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. An animal described as a large wolf is seen on the ship leaping ashore. The ship’s cargo is described as silver sand and boxes of earth from Transylvania. Strange happenings start to occur in Whitby: puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the arrival of his ‘Master’. Events soon embroil Harker and his fiancée Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Murray, her vivacious friend Lucy Westenra and Lucy’s fiancée Arthur Holmwood, an asylum psychiatrist, Dr. John Seward, and an American, Quincey Morris. As Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously, Seward calls his old teacher, Professor Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam, for help. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the Gothic genre. About the Author: Bram (Abraham) Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847, the son of a civil servant. He overcame an incapacitating childhood illness to attend Trinity College, Dublin, where he distinguished himself in athletics, became president of both Philosophical and Historical Societies and graduated in Pure Mathematics. From 1870 to 1877 he worked as a civil servant in Dublin Castle and published The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879). During this period he wrote dramatic criticism, and in 1878 his strong admiration for Henry Irving led the actor to appoint him as acting business manager at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Here he was box-office administrator and front-of-house master of ceremonies – a career change which led him to routinely rub shoulders with the artistic and political establishment of the day. He was by all accounts a hearty, down-to-earth and meticulous man. Stoker seldom left the theatre before one in the morning, because his boss liked him to organize regular dinners after the show in a Gothic parlour behind the stage.
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To judge by the many different headed notepapers he used, Bram Stoker tended to write on the run in hotels, on trains, in libraries and on leave from the Lyceum: Stoker’s first jottings for Dracula were developed during a wet family holiday in Whitby, Yorkshire, in July-August 1890. He found the name
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Dracula Intro Notes - Bram Stoker's Dracula The tale begins...

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