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Dracula

Dracula (1897)

Novel: Dracula (also Stage Play)
Published/Performed: 1897 (novel); Oct 5, 1927 - May 1928 (play performed at Fulton Theatre, NY)

Author: Bram Stoker
Born: Nov 8, 1847 Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
Passed: Apr 20, 1912 London, England

Film: Dracula
Released: 1931

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About the Novel Dracula:

Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.

Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham van Helsing.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.

When it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller, although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail ranked Stoker's powers above those of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe as well as Emily Bront?'s Wuthering Heights.

According to literary historians Nina Auerbach and David Skal in the Norton Critical Edition, the novel has become more significant for modern readers than it was for contemporary Victorian readers, most of whom enjoyed it just as a good adventure story; it only reached its broad iconic legendary classic status later in the 20th century when the movie versions appeared.[12] However, some Victorian fans were ahead of the time, describing it as "the sensation of the season" and "the most blood-curdling novel of the paralysed century".[13] Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to Stoker in a letter, "I write to tell you how very much I have enjoyed reading Dracula. I think it is the very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years."[14] The Daily Mail review of 1 June 1897 proclaimed it a classic of Gothic horror, "In seeking a parallel to this weird, powerful, and horrorful story our mind reverts to such tales as The Mysteries of Udolpho, Frankenstein, The Fall of the House of Usher ... but Dracula is even more appalling in its gloomy fascination than any one of these."

The story of Dracula has been the basis for countless films and plays. Stoker himself wrote the first theatrical adaptation, which was presented at the Lyceum Theatre under the title Dracula, or The Undead shortly before the novel's publication and performed only once. Popular films include Dracula (1931), Dracula (alternative title: The Horror of Dracula) (1958), and Dracula (also known as Bram Stoker's Dracula) (1992). Dracula was also adapted as Nosferatu (1922), a film directed by the German director F.W. Murnau, without permission from Stoker's widow; the filmmakers attempted to avoid copyright problems by altering many of the details, including changing the name of the villain to "Count Orlok".

The character of Count Dracula has remained popular over the years, and many films have used the character as a villain, while others have named him in their titles, including Dracula's Daughter, The Brides of Dracula, and Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. As of 2009, an estimated 217 films feature Dracula in a major role,[19] a number second only to Sherlock Holmes (223 films).

Most adaptations do not include all the major characters from the novel. The Count is always present, and Jonathan and Mina Harker, Dr. Seward, Dr. Van Helsing, and Renfield usually appear as well. The characters of Mina and Lucy are often combined into a single female role. Jonathan Harker and Renfield are also sometimes reversed or combined. Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood are usually omitted entirely.

Regarding the 1924/1927 play: The 1924 stage play was adapted by Hamilton Deane from the novel and substantially revised by John L. Balderston in 1927. It was the first adaptation of the novel authorised by Stoker's widow, and has influenced many subsequent adaptations. The original production starred Raymond Huntley as Dracula; Deane had originally intended to play the title role himself, but in the event opted for the role of Van Helsing. This production toured England for three years before settling in London. In 1927 the play was brought to Broadway by Horace Liveright, who hired John L. Balderston to revise the script for American audiences. The American production starred Bela Lugosi in his first major English-speaking role, with Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing; both actors reprised their roles in the 1931 film version, which drew on the Deane-Balderston play.

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Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film Dracula:



 


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