By Jim Steinmeyer
An acclaimed historian sleuths out literature’s most renowned vampire, uncovering the resource fabric – from folklore and background, to personas together with Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman – at the back of Bram Stoker’s bloody creation.
In greater than a century of vampires in popular culture, just one lord of the evening actually sticks out: Dracula. although the identify could conjure up photographs of Bela Lugosi lurking approximately in a cape and white pancake make-up within the iconic 1931 movie, the nature of Dracula—a robust, evil Transylvanian aristocrat who slaughters repressed Victorians on a visit to London—was created in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel of an identical identify, a piece so renowned it has spawned unlimited reinventions in books and film.
But the place did literature’s undead icon come from? What assets encouraged Stoker to craft a monster who could proceed to hang-out our desires (and wants) for generations? Historian Jim Steinmeyer, who printed the boys in the back of the myths within the final maximum Magician on the planet, explores a query that has lengthy involved literary students and the studying public alike: used to be there a real-life notion for Stoker’s count number Dracula?
Hunting via data and letters, literary and theatrical heritage, and the relationships and occasions that gave form to Stoker’s existence, Steinmeyer unearths the folk and tales at the back of the Transylvanian legend. In so doing, he exhibits how Stoker drew on fabric from the careers of literary contemporaries Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde; reviled personas equivalent to Jack the Ripper and the notorious fifteenth-century prince Vlad Tepes, in addition to little-known yet major figures, together with Stoker’s onetime boss, British level big name Henry Irving, and Theodore Roosevelt’s uncle, Robert Roosevelt (thought to be a version for Van Helsing).
Along the way in which, Steinmeyer depicts Stoker’s lifestyles in Dublin and London, his improvement as a author, involvement with London’s brilliant theater scene, and production of 1 of horror’s maximum masterpieces. Combining ancient detective paintings with literary examine, Steinmeyer’s eagle eye presents a charming travel via Victorian tradition and the intense literary monster it produced.