Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic shocker introduced Count Dracula to the world, an ancient creature bent on bringing his contagion to London, the very heart of the British Empire. As the horrifying story unfolds in the diaries and letters of young Jonathan Harker, Lucy, Mina, and Dr Seward, Dracula will be victorious unless his nemesis Professor Van Helsing can persuade them that monsters still lurk in the era of electric light.
The most famous of all vampire stories, Dracula is a mirror of its age, its underlying themes of race, religion, science, superstition, and sexuality never far from the surface. Below is a sequence of podcasts with Roger Luckhurst, who has edited a new edition of Dracula for Oxford World’s Classics, recorded by George Miller of Podularity.
– Vampire novels before Dracula
– Why are vampires such mobile metaphors?
– Roger Luckhurst explains that the Victorians thought very differently about blood.
– Dracula was published in 1897, the same year as Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment and Freud coining the word ‘psychoanalysis’.
– Thirty years on from the previous Oxford World’s Classics edition of Dracula what’s changed?
– Finally, George Miller suggested that vampires are more multivalent monsters than zombies. Roger took issue with George’s denigration of zombies…
Roger Luckhurst is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. He has written extensively on nineteenth and twentieth century literature, and is the editor of Oxford World Classics editions of Dracula and Late Victorian Gothic Tales.