BIOGRAPHY Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker, from Dublin, and CharlotteEARLY Mathilda Blake Thornley who came from Ballyshannon, County Donegal. LIFE He was the third of seven children. Stoker was bed-ridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete at Trinity College, Dublin.
BIOGRAPHY Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through a friend, Dr. Maunsell. He became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned EARLY by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.CAREER Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876, while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published 1879), which remained a standard work
BIOGRAPHY After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St Georges Square in 1912.Some biographers attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis. He was cremated, and hisDEATH ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium. After Irving Noel Stokers death in 1961, his ashes were added to that urn. The original plan had been to keep his parents ashes together, but after Florence Stokers death her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of Rest. To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism.
WORK The Primrose Path (1875) The Snakes Pass (1890) The Watters Mou (1895) The Shoulder of Shasta (1895)NOVELS Dracula (1897) Miss Betty (1898) The Mystery of the Sea (1902) The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903) The Man (aka: The Gates of Life) (1905) Lady Athlyne (1908) The Lady of the Shroud (1909) The Lair of the White Worm (aka: The Garden of Evil) (1911)
WORK "The Bridal of Death" (alternate ending to The Jewel of Seven Stars) "Buried Treasures" "The Chain of Destiny"STORIES "The Crystal Cup" "The Dualitists; or, The Death Doom of the Double Born" "Lord Castleton Explains" "The Gombeen Man" "In the Valley of the Shadow" "The Man from Shorrox" "Midnight Tales" "The Red Stockade" "The Seer"
DRACULAJonathan Harker, a young London solicitor (a lawyer) travels to Transylvania(modern-day Romania) to help a rich nobleman, Count Dracula, purchase anestate in England. Dracula is planning to immigrate to England, and wants Harkerto help him hammer out all the legal details. Harker is at first impressed byDraculas suave politeness, but is soon creeped out by the Counts uncanny abilityto communicate with wolves and by the lack of servants (or anyone else) in theCounts huge castle. Soon after, Harker realizes that hes a prisoner in the castle.One evening, he tries to find an escape route – only to be discovered and almostseduced/devoured by three sexy vampire ladies (the brides of Dracula). Dracularescues him at the last minute, and Harker realizes that Dracula is only keepinghim alive to finish the real estate transaction. Harker decides to make a break forit and only barely escapes from the castle alive. Hes not able to head straightback to England, though. He comes down with a severe case of brain feverbecause of the shock and spends many weeks recuperating in a convent in thecountryside in Hungary.
Meanwhile, back in England, Harkers fiancée, Mina, is hanging out withher best friend Lucy in a seaside town. Minas worried about Jonathan andwonders why she hasnt heard from him in so long, but Lucy can only thinkabout her own suitors. She gets three marriage proposals in the same dayby three friends: Dr. John Seward, a doctor who runs a mental hospital;Quincey Morris, an American; and Arthur Holmwood, the son of LordGodalming (an English gentleman). She accepts Arthur Holmwood. Eventhough Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward are disappointed, they still stayfriends with Arthur.Meanwhile, Dracula has arrived in England, but hasnt shown himself yet. Apatient in Dr. Sewards hospital, Renfield, continually captures and eatsinsects, spiders, and birds and says that the "Master" is coming soon. Lucystarts acting weird – she seems to be losing blood, but no one knowswhere the bloods going. Her fiancé, Lord Arthur Holmwood, getsworried, and Jack Seward sends for his friend and mentor, Van Helsing, tocheck her out.
Van Helsing realizes that theres a vampire involved. Hes a scientist and doctor, but hes also well versed in ancient superstitions and philosophy, so he knows what to do to kill vampires. Even after giving her multiple blood transfusions, theyre not able to save Lucy, and she dies. But Van Helsing knows shes not really dead. The four men break into her tomb and catch vampire Lucy coming back from a foray in the neighboring village. They stab her in the heart and cut off her head to make sure shes really dead, and not just mostly dead. Mina finally hears from Jonathan and goes to Budapest to pick him up. They get married at the convent where hes been recovering from his illness, and come back to England. Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, Morris, and Holmwood all swear to get rid of Dracula once and for all.
Mina has to hide in Dr. Sewards office at the hospital while the mengo vampire hunting. Unfortunately, Renfield knows about Dracula andinvites him into the building (vampires cant enter unless theyve beeninvited, so dont go inviting any vampires into your homes), and hestarts drinking Minas blood. The men come back in time to find herbeing force-fed some of Draculas blood.The case is now extremely urgent – if they dont catch and kill Draculaquickly, Mina will turn into a vampire, like Lucy. Dracula leads them ona spectacular chase back to Transylvania, where they finally catch upto him and kill him. Mina is saved, and they all live happily ever after.Except for Quincey Morris, who gets stabbed during the final fight.
CHARACTERS Count Dracula Mina Murray Harker Jonathan harker Lucy westenra Dr. Seward Dr. Val Helsing Arthur Holmwood Quincey Morris
THEMES TECHNOLOGY AND MODERNIZATIONBram seems to have been obsessed with the latesttechnologies. He makes a big point of having his charactersuse really up-to-date (for 1897) gadgets for communication– Jack Seward, for example, records his diary on aphonograph, which is an early recording device. All the high-tech gadgets contrast strongly with the superstitions andancient traditions surrounding Dracula himself.
THEMES SEXMost of the characters in Dracula are simultaneously attracted to andrepulsed by the idea of having their blood sucked. Most of them areable to repress that desire most of the time, although theyacknowledge the desire later in their journals. There arent any actualsex scenes in the novel, but the blood-sucking scenes are closeenough: theyre described in terms of illicit desire and sexualrepression.
PASSIVITYIn the world of Dracula, being passive can get you into alot of trouble. If you think something is fishy, or you arentfeeling quite right, youd better say something. Stayingquiet, or assuming that everything is going to be fine, willonly get you bitten by a vampire. Take Jonathan Harker, forexample, who ignores all the superstitious advice hesgiven on his way to Castle Dracula. He also ignoresDraculas advice to stay in his end of the castle, and fallsasleep in a room where the Brides of Dracula could attackhim.
GOOD VS EVILThe vampire Dracula is pretty unambiguously evil. Themembers of the Crew of Light, the group dedicated todestroying Dracula, are unambiguously good.
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