From the home of Stylist

DRACULA BY BRAM STOKER

Four reasons you should read the novel that’s inspired countless films and plays

• It’s inspired by Henry Irving. Stoker’s 1897 gothic horror story is told through the letters and journal entries of its protagonists, centring on Count Dracula’s attempts to wreak havoc between Transylvania and England. The Count was apparently inspired by Stoker’s boss at the Lyceum Theatre, British stage actor Henry Irving. Looking at him, he was a bit Dracula-esque.

• Van’s the man. When you’ve got M.D., D.Ph. and D.Lit after your name, you’re clearly not to be messed with. Abraham Van Helsing is the Dutch doctor called in to destroy the blood-sucking Count, while everyone else is dithering, fainting or writing in their diary. Forget about Buffy, AVH is the ultimate vampire slayer.

• Whitby. In chapters six to eight, the action moves to the seaside town of Whitby when Mina Murray visits her friend Lucy Westenra. Ever since we read the book, we’ve quite wanted to go to Whitby on a mini break. Just without the vampire encounters, thanks.

• It’s properly frightening. There’s Dracula’s spooky castle on top of a dark hillside, beheadings, the eating of spiders, flies and sparrows and the hammering of stakes through the heart. Everything about this book is classic gothic horror.

Dracula by Bram Stoker (Harper Press, £2.50)

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