It is perhaps one of the best known and most influential novels in all of literature: 1897's Dracula didn't merely inspire countless adaptations for stage and film, it invented an entire genre of horror: the vampire story, which continues to evolve today into wildly varied directions, from noir detective pastiches (the vampire as night-owl P.I.) to tween romances (the vampire as dreamy but distant boyfriend). Anyone who wants to know where it all began must read this 1897 work, still startling and still terrifying even today. The story of English solicitor Jonathan Harker and his strange new client, Transylvanian aristocrat Count Dracula, this is the classic work of Victorian gothic horror, the continuing eerie wellspring of many of our cultural fantasies and nightmares. Irish author ABRAHAM STOKER (1847-1912) worked for more than a quarter of a century as manager of the West End's Lyceum Theatre, which drew him into London's literary and artists circles; he was a friend of such luminaries as writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Stoker is also the author of The Lair of the White Worm (1911), among other books.
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.