Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, travels to Count Dracula's crumbling, remote castle in Eastern Europe to provide legal support for a real estate transaction. At first seduced by The Count's gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle and begins to see disquieting facets of Dracula's nocturnal life. Frightened but determined, Harker investigates the nature of his confinement and becomes uneasier as he realizes that the count possesses supernatural powers and diabolical ambitions. After a dangerous escape from the castle and a long convalescence, Harker returns to England to find that the Count has been very busy.
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.