I’m slogging my way through Dracula, about halfway done, and something’s bugging me. I know enough just from popular culture that Dracula’s heading to London, but why? It seems to me he’s safe enough back home. Everyone’s scared of him, the gypsy band is helping him out, but in London, he loses all of that. Sure, no one believes in vampires so there’s easier kills, but enough people start dying off with holes in their necks and a lot of people are going to start realizing 2+2=4, and there’s a lot of population around to hunt you down. Does the book go into why Dracula moved to England, or is that just something that happened for the story? It’s not making a lot of sense for me.
To get away from the smell of garlic?
Wasn’t it to court Mina Harker, the reincarnation of his suicidal lady?
A while since I read the book, but I think Dracula is asked that at one point and explains, in essence, that he’s ambitious to spread his power, which is easier in a major power-center like London.
BTW, I don’t think vampirism is contagious in the original East Euro legends. There are several ways to become a vampire, but being bitten by one is not one of them. Also, in most such legends, a vampire is as mindless as a Romero slow-zombie.
Also, a silver weapon being required to kill a werewolf is a Hollywood invention. In the original legends, a werewolf can be killed by anything that will kill a man or a wolf. And werewolves are werewolves by choice, casting a spell to turn their shape, rather than being cursed with the condition.
Not much used in British cookery. But in the book, and I think in the legends, you repel vampires with garlic flowers, not bulbs.
I don’t think that’s in the book. Not in the movies, either, prior to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Not in the book. It first entered the movies in the 1973 TV movie starring Jack Palance. Some people speculate that the trope was inspired by the Boris Karloff version of The Mummy.
Dracula never gives his motive in the text. The closest we have are Harker’s recounting of their dinner conversations.
As near as I can figure, Fred Saberhagen had it right - Dracula wanted to join then Nineteenth Century. He’d been couped up in his castle in Transylvania for four hundred years, and figured the rest of the world had finally caught up with him.
“A scientific and industrial revolution! At long last, the world is ready for vampires!”
It’s not clear why he didn’t just go to somewhere on the Continent, like France, or (like Count Orlok) Germany. That would’ve eliminated all the subterfuge in crossing water.
Maybe he had a hankering for British Blood Pudding.
Yep – I’m one of the speculators.
Read all about it here – Dracula’s Re-incarnated Wife
On reflection, I think that part about wanting to spread his power was from the Dracula stage play, on which the Universal film was (loosely) based.
I’m where Van Helsing just revealed his theory that it must be Lucy that’s killing the children. Guess I haven’t hit My Dinner with The Undead yet.
I don’t know if Bram Stoker was an Irish patriot, or an Empire loyalist, but he was making a comfortable living in London, and writing for a London-centric audience. People who live in financial centers often think that their city is the center of the universe, and cannot imagine anyone wanting to live anywhere else.
Why does Dracula move to London? Because he can!
My apologies for not giving you proper credit, Cal. I knew I had gotten the idea from you, but could not remember exactly where I had read the details.
I can certainly understand it being written for those reasons, but I had been hoping for something deeper.
No, I agree with the others…he wanted to spread his power, infect the greater populace with vampirism, and London was the Big Apple of the day. Dracula was the mysterious, tentacled East, and the late Victorian was scared shitless of those guys. They gots WHITE WOMEN to protect, too!
See also du Maurier’s contemporaneous Trilby, with the Eastern European (and Jewish) Other, Svengali, sinking his figurative fangs into a flower of British womanhood. And, of course, the later books featuring the insidious Devil Doctor, Fu Manchu.
Also, Mina Harker played second banana to Lucy Westernra, who succumbed to the Count’s bite first, and DID become a vampire. Or “boofer lady,” which confused the crap out of me at first reading (age…12?). I eventually figured out it was the childish pronunciation of “beautiful lady,” which Lucy certainly was. (She specialized in biting little kids. Ew.)
Also also, you’re “slogging?” Dracula is one of the greatest thrillers ever written! I’ve bounded through it at least a half-dozen times.
Frankenstein, on the other hand…
Skipper - “That’s Hollywood for you. Anyone knows that wolfsbane is only used against werewolves.”
Mary Ann - “It was a very good picture.”
Skipper - “Well, maybe so, but a mistake like that makes the whole picture unbelievable.”