Go to the excellent Bibliomania (Free Online Literature and Study Guides) for Bram Stoker's "Dracula" » "Dracula surely needs little introduction, being the most famous tale of vampirism and the one to which all since it was published in 1897 have aspired to. However, with the numerous adaptations and cinematic rejuvenations and rejiggings of the legend (from Nosferatu to Blackula) have come many bastardisations of the original tale and character. The novel is told via the diary entries of the young solicitor Jonathan Harker, his fiancée Mina, Lucy Westenra and Dr John Seward (who is in charge of a lunatic asylum in Essex). We travel to the Transylvanian abode of Count Dracula, a strange and disturbing castle. His purpose is to settle a land deal for Seward but he is drawn into bizarre and horrifying experiences within the castle walls. The action then passes to England as the Count travels in amongst fifty large wooden boxes and on board ship finishes off the entire crew before disappearing at Whitby in the shape of a wolf. Back on land, Lucy is vampirized by Dracula and dies despite the intervention of the wise and knowledgeable Professor Van Helsing. Mina too is in danger and has to be protected from Dracula’s advances. The adventure concludes with a thrilling and conclusive return to Transylviania. Dracula is not Stoker’s only novel, and he also wrote short-stories and dramatic criticism but this tale stands apart. It was influenced by the story ‘Carmilla’ in Le Fanu’s In A Glass Darkly (1872)."