The punctured throat, the coffin lid slowly opening, the unholy shriek as the stake pierces the heartthese are just a few of the chilling images Bram Stoker unleashed upon the world with his 1897 masterpiece, Dracula. Inspired by the folk legend of nosferatu, the undead, Stoker created a timeless tale of gothic horror and romance that has enthralled and terrified readers ever since.
A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written. It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition.
DRACULA cannot be described as a domestic novel, nor its annals as those of a quiet life. The circumstances described are from the first peculiar. A young solicitor sent for on business by a client in Transylvania goes through some unusual experiences. He finds himself shut up in a half ruined castle with a host who is only seen at night and three beautiful females who have the misfortune of being vampires. Their intentions, which can hardly be described as honourable, are to suck his blood, in order to sustain their own vitality. Count Dracula (the host) is also a vampire but has grown tired of his compatriots, however young and beautiful, and has a great desire for what may literally be called fresh blood. He has therefore sent for the solicitor that through his means he may be introduced to London society. Without understanding the Count's views, Mr. Harker has good reason for having suspicions of his client. Wolves come at his command, and also fogs; he is also too clever by half at climbing. There is a splendid prospect from the castle terrace, which Mr. Harker would have enjoyed but for his conviction that he would never leave the place alive-
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These scenes and situations, striking as they are, become commonplace compared with Count Dracula's goings on in London. As Falstaff was not only witty himself but the cause of wit in other people, so a vampire, it seems, compels those it has bitten (two little marks on the throat are its token, usually taken by faculty for the scratches of a broach) to become after death vampires also. Nothing can keep them away but garlic, which is, perhaps, why that comestible is so popular in certain countries. One may imagine, therefore,how the thing spread in London after the Count's arrival. The only chance of stopping it was to kill the Count before any of his victims died, and this was a difficult job, for though several centuries old, he was very young and strong, and could become a dog or a bat at pleasure. However, it is undertaken by four resolute and high-principled persons, and how it is managed forms the subject of the story, of which nobody can complain that it is deficient in dramatic situations. We would not however, recommend it to nervous persons for evening reading.