Awareness of Dracula as a masterly gothic thriller has increased ever since its publication in 1897, and the novel is regarded as one of the most seminal horror stories ever written, having inspired countless copycat tales and literary spin-offs. The tale of young Englishman Jonathan Harker's journey to Transylvania, into the very heart of Count Dracula’s evil realm, is compelling, but it is perhaps the journey of the vampire to Englandand the dangers he poses to Jonathan’s beloved Minathat is more horrifying.
Dracula is one of the few horror books to be honored by inclusion in the Norton Critical Edition series. (The others are Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, Heart of Darkness, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Metamorphosis.) This 100th-anniversary edition includes not only the complete authoritative text of the novel with illuminating footnotes, but also four contextual essays, five reviews from the time of publication, five articles on dramatic and film variations, and seven selections from literary and academic criticism. Nina Auerbach of the University of Pennsylvania (author of Our Vampires, Ourselves) and horror scholar David J. Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, and Screams of Reason) are the editors of the volume. Especially fascinating are excerpts from materials that Bram Stoker consulted in his research for the book, and his working papers over the several years he was composing it. The selection of criticism includes essays on how Dracula deals with female sexuality, gender inversion, homoerotic elements, and Victorian fears of "reverse colonization" by politically turbulent Transylvania.