‘It was butcher work…the horrid screeching as the stake drove home; the plunging of writhing form, and lips of bloody foam…’
— Bram Stoker, Dracula
Tales of vampire-like creatures, demonic consumers of human flesh and blood, have permeated the mythology of almost every culture since the dawn of time. Yet, while the vampire as we now know him became a popular source of folklore terror in Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was not until 1897 that Bram Stoker introduced the world to the most famous vampire of all.
Count Dracula is an ancient creature bent on bringing his contagion right to the heart of the British Empire: London. As the cunning and supernatural powers of the Count and his legions threaten destruction upon the city, only a handful of men and women stand between Dracula and his long-cherished goal. 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.
After a wonderful time exploring Wuthering Heights, culminating in a Reddit AMA with Professor Helen Small at the end of March, we would love to invite you to join us as we dive into the dark Gothic landscape of Victorian London, and seek to defeat the most terrifying and crafty horror of them all…
Our resident expert for this season of the Oxford World’s Classics Reading Group will be Roger Luckhurst, editor of the OWC edition of Dracula and professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature. He teaches horror and the occasional respectable novel by Henry James at Birkbeck College, University of London and tweets at @.
Image: Ruins by ehrendreich. CC0 via Pixabay.