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Dracula | Study Guide

Bram Stoker

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Stanley Stepanic, Professor of Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Virginia, explains the Headnote in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

Dracula | Headnote : Summary | Summary



In an introductory note to readers, the writer—possibly one of the heroes who faced and defeated Dracula—explains the rigorous method in which he or she arranged materials and documents and attests to their factual nature. The note supports the novel's illusion of verisimilitude, or likeness to the real world.


Stoker uses a literary device popular in 18th- and 19th-century English novels: the pretense that the letters and journals included in the novel are real. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1818) and H.G. Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) are examples of other novels that rely on this device to lend a sense of realism to a tale of monstrous creatures.

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