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Dracula (Norton Critical Editions) [Paperback]

Bram Stoker , Nina Auerbach , David J. Skal
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 17, 1996 0393970124 978-0393970128 1st

This Norton Critical Edition presents fully annotated the text of the 1897 First Edition.

A rich selection of background and source materials is provided in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stoker's working notes for the novel and "Dracula's Guest," the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. "Dramatic and Film Variations" focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novel's unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included.

Criticism collects seven theoretical interpretations of Dracula by Phyllis A. Roth, Carol A. Senf, Franco Moretti, Christopher Craft, Bram Dijsktra, Stephen D. Arata, and Talia Schaffer.

A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Dracula is one of the few horror books to be honored by inclusion in the Norton Critical Edition series. (The others are Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, Heart of Darkness, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Metamorphosis.) This 100th-anniversary edition includes not only the complete authoritative text of the novel with illuminating footnotes, but also four contextual essays, five reviews from the time of publication, five articles on dramatic and film variations, and seven selections from literary and academic criticism. Nina Auerbach of the University of Pennsylvania (author of Our Vampires, Ourselves) and horror scholar David J. Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, and Screams of Reason) are the editors of the volume. Especially fascinating are excerpts from materials that Bram Stoker consulted in his research for the book, and his working papers over the several years he was composing it. The selection of criticism includes essays on how Dracula deals with female sexuality, gender inversion, homoerotic elements, and Victorian fears of "reverse colonization" by politically turbulent Transylvania.

About the Author

Bram Stoker (1847-1912), an Irish novelist and short story writer, was known during his lifetime as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned, but is best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula.

Nina Auerbach is John Welsh Centennial Professor of History and Literature and Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Communities of Women: An Idea in Fiction; Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth; Romantic Imprisonment: Women and Other Glorified Outcasts; Ellen Terry, Player in Her Time; Private Theatricals: The Lives of the Victorians; and Our Vampires, Our Selves. She is co-editor, with U. C. Knoepflmacher, of Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers.

David J. Skal is the author of several books on genre cinema and fantastic literature, including Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of "Dracula" from Novel to Stage to Screen; The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror; V is for Vampire; and Screams of Reason: Mad Science and Modern Culture. With Elias Savada, he is co-author of Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning. He has also written and produced numerous video documentaries on fantastic films and literature.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (December 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393970124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393970128
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-Featured Critical Edition for Fans and Students. October 16, 2004
I'll comment on the features of the Norton Critical Edition of "Dracula", as reviews of the novel can be found elsewhere. The novel, itself, is reproduced from the 1897 British edition that was published by Archbald Constable and Company and is preceded by a short but useful Preface that discusses the contexts in which "Dracula" was written and received over a century ago. The text of the novel is amply footnoted. Not only are terms defined, but allusions are explained, and passages of particular interest are treated with some commentary. The footnotes are worthwhile, but easy to ignore if you prefer. I had reservations about the footnotes in the early chapters of the book. Too many of them referred to points later in the story, acting as minor spoilers. I found this stopped after the action moved to England, so it only applies to a small portion of the book. Following the text of the novel are sections on Contexts, Reviews and Reactions, Dramatic and Film Variations, and Criticism.

"Contexts" includes some 19th century source material on vampires, Bram Stoker's working papers for the novel annotated by Christopher Frayling, and "Dracula's Guest", which was originally to be the novel's opening chapter, before Bram Stoker decided to situate the novel in Transylvania. The working papers are thoroughly uninteresting, and "Dracula's Guest" is not as chilling as the introduction that replaced it. "Reviews and Reactions" includes 5 reviews of the novel written shortly after it was published, in 1897 and in 1899, three of which are favorable.

"Dramatic and Film Variations" contains an essay about "Dracula"'s theatrical adaptations, including a list of major plays, by David J.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST EDITIONS OF THE NOVEL July 14, 2001
Everything I've read in the Norton Critical Editions is always very good. It of course includes the text of the work, usually complete (Herodotus was an exception). But most useful is a selection of critical opinion over time so that the reader is able to compare his own evaluation with that of others. And it is amazing what a non-professional (like me, in the field of literature) misses and how professional critics can deepen understanding. But read the novel first, and then the critics.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Vamp September 6, 2000
This is the horror novel that launched a thousand vampires.
Actually, it's not really a novel - it's a collection of letters. Two women, best friends Mina and Lucy, are happily sharing their love lives with eachother on paper. Mina is about to marry her beau Jonathan Harker; and Lucy is trying to choose between Dr. Arthur Seward and Quincey Morris, true-blue good guys both. Suddenly, a stranger from Transylvania comes to town and Lucy becomes gravely ill. Seward writes to his mentor, Dr. Van Helsing for help. The good doctor does indeed know what they're dealing with, but he's too late to save Lucy. The group barely has time to grieve before strange things start happening, and by the time they realize that the stranger,Dracula, is in fact a vampire, he's set his malevolent eye on Mina...
Some people find the letters tedious, and that there's far less of Drac around than they'd expected - but try to read them as if you also don't know what he is yet. The "news clipping" about the Ghost-ship's arrival from Transylvania, for example, is still chilling - and the final chase scene, in which the friends lose one of their own, still packs an emotional and adrenaline punch.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bram Stoker's Dracula: A Parable For Our Times September 26, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book Groups of America, put down your Oprah choices, your Eat, Pray, and Love drivel, your watered elephants, and read Bram Stoker's Dracula. I wanted to read some long books before my book-a-day project begins and Dracula was on the list of recommended must-reads. My son's English teacher was right, everyone should read this book.

I finished Dracula last night after midnight. WIth a shiver I went off to bed and I dreamt of mist coming in under doors, bats beating against windows, garlic flowers and golden crucifixes. This novel is a really great read and ten million times better than any movie version ever made. The novel is deep and dense and scarily engaging, with compelling characters, great atmosphere, and a plot that teases thrillingly; Evil approaches, then withdraws, moves forward and is then pushed back again, if only until the sun sets and enabling darkness again descends.

The novel reads like the metaphor used often by its characters: a chess match. The match is between Evil (Count Dracula and his lovely undead) and Good (Mina and Jonathan Harker, Dr. Seward, Professor Van Helsing, Lord Godalming and the brave American, Quincey Morris); the pawns include the lunatic Renfield and the lovely and beloved virgin Lucy Westerna, as well as many other minor characters dragged nefariously into Dracula's plot to infiltrate London.

Clearly the novel is about temptations of the Devil being finally vanquished by the deep and intensely held faith of the righteous in their God: eternal life as offered by Count Dracula is spurned in favor of eternal paradise as offered by God.

But the novel is also an appropriate, and apropos, parable about greed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bram Stoker’s Writing Reflects the Spirit of His Time
In Dracula, Bram Stoker, amid the rising demand for women's equality, tried to portray Mina as the new breed of woman who has "come of age. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leonard Seet
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent critical edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula
This is a copy of the definitive text, with a number of very fine academic articles, all under one cover.
Published 7 months ago by Ricochet55
4.0 out of 5 stars Stalking the Transylvanian Pestilence
Bram Stoker's 1897 masterpiece of Gothic horror mesmerized the London reading public with lits taste for the macabre--fascinating despite its gruesome theme. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Plume45
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, great edition
I was never interested in vampires and such, but after coincidentally taking a course on vampires and reading this, I am pretty satisfied with this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by rwm1
4.0 out of 5 stars Forever remembered
It's easy to see why this book made such an eternal impression. From the gothic ambiance of the fog, castle, wolves, the Victorian language and repressed times melding with the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paperbackstash
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase
I was required to purchase this book for a Nineteenth Century Novel course and was pleased it was on the syllabus. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Grace
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting, but not an easy read
It took me a while and an audio book to finish this. Maybe it's the writing style that bothered me, because book is good. Story is interesting, characters well described. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Meg
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic vampires!!!
Originals are the best. Horror is the way to go. Vampires should not ever sparkle. This isn't My Little Pony!
Gothic Dracula rocks. 'nuff said.
Published 14 months ago by parrotgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
Had to get this book for school and it was pretty good read. The norton critical edition was very helpful.
Published 15 months ago by Chris Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
I had to get this book for class and it came in excellent conditons. There were no markings in it practically brand new.
Published 17 months ago by Pen Name
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Unedited Dracula eBook
I'm pretty sure this version right here on Amazon is the original. Amazon lumps reviews of all different formats together so some of the reviews refer to an "updated" hardcover edition that apparently made a mess of things. I know it's also available on Project Gutenberg... Read More
Dec 31, 2011 by S. McNulty |  See all 4 posts
Recommended Classical Horror Novels
I just read Frankenstein, it was quite good.
Dracula was good too.
The picture of Dorian Grey is available on Kindle, though I have not read it yet.
The Time Machine is also good, but I do not know if it is horror, but a classic.
Oct 24, 2010 by Joyce Downs |  See all 7 posts
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