Dracula is a Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker, considered to be one of the most enduring and skillful examples of the modern vampire genre. It tells the story of Count Dracula, and of Professor Abraham Van Helsing, who attempts to thwart the vampire in his attempt to move from Transylvania to London, in order to find new blood and spread the undead curse. This Essential Classics edition includes a new introduction by Professor Vivian Heller, Ph.D. in literature and modern studies from Yale University.
Bram Stoker was a 19th-century Irish writer best known for Dracula. During his lifetime, Stoker was also the business manager of the Lyceum Theater in London. In order to write Dracula, Stoker spent years researching European folklore and vampire mythology, and the product was the book that would become a classic of horror fiction.
Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation(University of Illinois Press) and of The City Beneath Us (W.W. Norton & Company), a history of the building of the New York City subway system. She is an associate at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies and is the writing tutor for the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is also a long-standing member of the non-fiction committee of the PEN Prison-Writing Committee, which awards prizes to inmates from across the country.
Essential Classics publishes the most crucial literary works throughout history, with a unique introduction to each, making them the perfect treasure for any reader’s shelf.
This full-cast production is a masterly depiction of the Victorian gothic ethos in Stoker's classic tale. Told through a series of letters and diary entries, the novel begins when Count Dracula lures a young English lawyer named Jonathan Harker to his castle in Transylvania under the pretense of a real estate transaction, but Harker soon discovers the count is a vampire and the diabolical intent in the real estate deal. It falls to the resourceful Professor Van Helsing, along with a handful of intrepid heroes, including Harker and his fianc e, Mina, to stop the count's evil plans. The readers each have a distinctive voice for their characters and do a perfect job of conveying the emotional content of the assorted letters and diaries. Jamie Parker's portrayal of Harker is particularly stirring, especially as the character slowly pieces together the horrific truth about Dracula. Alison Pettitt succeeds at providing a gamut of emotions for the voice of Mina throughout the story. Each reader hits the mark with precision. For anyone who has never read (or for anyone looking to revisit) this classic tale of gothic horror, this is a fine way to do so.