This is the original Vampire Diaries. The book is mostly a collection of journal and diary extracts. It is not until page 249 of a 472 page book that I notice the first mention of the word “vampire”.
Dracula wasn’t the first vampire novel but it was certainly one to popularise the theme, particularly when it inspired films from “Nosferatau” to the Hollywood classsics with Bela Lugosi playing the count.
The book was published in 1897, close to the turn of the century. New ideas like electric lighting and blood transfusions were gaining ground.
Jonathan Harker describes Count Dracula, that image we are now so familiar with :
“His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth.
These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor. ”
Count Dracula travels to England and Jonathan Harker, Dr Seward, Quincey Morris and the indomitable Professor Van Helsing, team up to try to destroy the monster.
This is classic gothic horror, with late night trips to graveyards, digging up graves, using crosses, holy water and communion wafers to sanctify the ground etc… A must read for fans of this genre.
My rating : 5 out of 5