Thursday, 8 January 2009
Dracula by Bram Stoker
DATE PUBLISHED: 1897 DATE READ: January 2009 NOTES: Although it is a well known story this was my first reading of the classic vampire horror. So although the plot held few surprises I was amazed by how modern and accessible the prose was – especially when compared with something like The Turn of the Screw which was written about the same time. The story unfolds through the diaries, notebooks, letters and phonograph recordings of the main characters. Victorian attitudes to women are very evident throughout the book. The female vampires attempt to seduce Harker while he is very much the innocent victim. Arthur willingly (too willingly) puts a stake into the heart of his undead wife. The women in Dracula are in need of protection while the men are brave and resourceful. Having said that Mina Harker has lots of initiative and could be considered a Modern Woman of the time with her use of shorthand and typewriter. Readers at the time of publication must have been enthralled by Dracula but even a century later it is a great tale.