Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker

Carol A. Senf
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
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  • Book Info
    Bram Stoker
    Book Description:

    This study examines Stoker’s contribution to the modern notion of Gothic and demonstrates that Gothic excess is Stoker’s way of focusing on social, economic, and political problems. What makes this study unique is that it privileges Stoker’s development of modern Gothic in Dracula but also addresses Stoker’s works that are decidedly not Gothic. The creator of Dracula wrote for the Irish Civil Service as well as created The Man and Lady Athlyne, two romances. Understanding the Stoker, who was fascinated with technology and racial and gender development as well as Gothic mystery, helps readers understand fin de siècle tensions.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2307-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Carol A. Senf
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction: Tracing the Gothic through Stoker’s Short Stories
    (pp. 1-30)

    When Bram Stoker died in 1912, his obituary inThe Timesdescribed him as ‘the master of a particularly lurid and creepy kind of fiction’ and, although he wrote eighteen books plus numerous articles and short stories, he is remembered today primarily forDracula

    This study explores Stoker as a Gothic writer, and this chapter introduces themes and ideas he develops in shorter works. While Stoker wrote most of his novels after 1902 when the Lyceum’s collapse allowed him to write full time, Stoker began by writing short fiction and included some of these stories in three collections:Under the...

  5. 1 Gothic Material in The Snake’s Pass, The Watter’s Mou’ and The Shoulder of Shasta
    (pp. 31-53)

    Draculais unquestionably a Gothic masterpiece because Stoker perfected his craft while he worked as business manager for the Lyceum and wrote in his spare time. William Hughes notes inBeyond Draculathat eight novels were ‘thus completed effectively on a part-time basis, the research and writing often effected on tour or in breaks between productions or rehearsals’:The Snake’s Pass(1891),TheWatter’s Mou’(1894),The Shoulder of Shasta(1895),Dracula(1897),Miss Betty(1898),The Mystery of the Sea(1902),The Jewel of Seven Stars(1903) andThe Man(1905).¹

    Even though Stoker had little time to polish them,...

  6. 2 Dracula: Stoker’s Gothic Masterpiece
    (pp. 54-85)

    Despitemy enthusiasmfor Stoker’s fiction and agreement withAndrew Maunder that readers cannot see him as the author of only one novel, the typical reader of this study will be interested primarily inDracula, Stoker’s acknowledged masterpiece and a work generally identified as Gothic.¹ Furthermore, while Stoker’s other works are sometimes difficult to locate,Draculahas never been out of print, has been translated into numerous foreign languages, is available in a number of inexpensive paperback editions, many of them annotated by scholars, and has inspired more movies, television shows and other popular culture than any other Gothic work.²

    Attempting to explain...

  7. 3 Ongoing Work with the Gothic in Miss Betty, The Mystery of the Sea and The Jewel of Seven Stars
    (pp. 86-110)

    Although nothing Stoker wrote in the years followingDraculareceived the critical attention thatDraculadid,The Mystery of the Sea(1902) is notable for its Gothic elements,¹The Jewel of Seven Stars(1903), another Gothic tale, is generally considered Stoker’s second-best work.²

    Miss Betty(1898), Stoker’s only historical novel, receives almost no critical attention.³

    Miss Betty, published immediately afterDracula, has few Gothic elements and is regarded as one of Stoker’s weakest works. Andrew Maunder describes it inBram Stokeras ‘one of the least-known of Stoker’s novels’ but adds that it ‘provoked the most enthusiastic response from reviewers...

  8. 4 Gothic-tinged Romances: The Man, Lady Athlyne and The Lady of the Shroud
    (pp. 111-134)

    Following Jewel, his most Gothic work, Stoker’s next works take radically different directions. He wrotePersonal Reminiscences of Henry Irving(1906) out of obligation to his friend as well as for fans of the great actor. Pure romances with occasional Gothic hints,The Man(1905) andLady Athlyne(1908) feature small casts of characters and conclude with happy marriages.¹ More panoramic,The Lady of the Shroud(1909) includes numerous Gothic references, including a heroine who sleeps in a coffin and is reputed to be a vampire.² However, references to the supernatural turn out to be false, and the novel, which...

  9. 5 Stoker’s Return to the Gothic in Famous Impostors and The Lair of the White Worm
    (pp. 135-156)

    Looking at the first decade of the twentieth century, readers see an increasingly optimistic Stoker.Mystery,TheMan,Athlyneand many of the stories inSnowboundandLadyexude confidence whether they concentrate on personal fulfilment, technological advances or political achievements. Such optimism flies in the face of Stoker’s personal circumstances. Now that he had time to devote time to writing, health and financial problems plagued him. A paralytic stroke in 1906 incapacitated him for several months and damaged his eyesight, and he suffered several smaller strokes after that. Stoker remained optimistic, however, publishing two of his most confident works –Lady...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 157-176)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 177-186)
  12. Index
    (pp. 187-196)