Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories


Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories
Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories  
Draculasguest.jpg
1st edition
Author(s) Bram Stoker
Country Ireland
Language English
Publisher George Routledge and Sons
Publication date 1914
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 200
ISBN NA

Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories is a collection of short stories by Bram Stoker, first published in 1914, two years after Stoker's death. The stories in the collection are:

  • "Dracula's Guest"
  • "The Judge's House"
  • "The Squaw"
  • "The Secret of the Growing Gold"
  • "A Gipsy Prophecy"
  • "The Coming of Abel Behenna"
  • "The Burial of the Rats"
  • "A Dream of Red Hands"
  • "Crooken Sands"

Contents

Dracula's Guest

Origin

It is widely believed that "Dracula's Guest" is actually the deleted first chapter from the original Dracula manuscript, which the publisher felt was superfluous to the story. However, some scholars, including Elizabeth Miller, disagree.[1] In the preface to the original edition of Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories, Stoker's widow Florence wrote, "To his original list of stories in this book, I have added an hitherto unpublished episode from Dracula. It was originally excised owing to the length of the book, and may prove of interest to the many readers of what is considered my husband's most remarkable work."[2]

Leslie S. Klinger, who had access to Stoker's original Dracula manuscript[3] while researching his 2008 book The New Annotated Dracula, saw evidence of "Dracula's Guest" having been deleted from the manuscript, such as a deleted sentence of Harker commenting that his throat is "still sore from the licking of the gray wolf's file-like tongue".[4] and the first and second chapters of the finished novel being labeled in the manuscript as "ii"[5] and "iii".[6] Klinger ultimately concludes the following:

And so what may we make of ["Dracula's Guest"]? Without the name "Dracula" appearing in the title and [Dracula's] message [sent to the narrator], there would be very little to connect this traveler's tale with [the novel Dracula]. The style is completely different; the narrator shares few characteristics with Jonathan Harker; and the action somehow fails to connect the story set forth in [Dracula]. However, there are numerous references in the [Dracula] Manuscript to some version of the tale eventually published as "Dracula's Guest." Most likely, a different draft — one that identified the narrator as Harker — was included in ... an early version of [the Dracula manuscript]. It may be that Stoker's publisher requested that the book be shortened, or the publisher (or Stoker) may have felt that the "stylistic" aspects of the narrative were more important than its veracity. For whatever reason, the material was excised, and only later did Stoker return to the material and work it into its published form.[7]

Plot summary

"Dracula's Guest" follows an Englishman (whose name is never mentioned but is presumed to be Jonathan Harker) on a visit to Munich before leaving for Transylvania. It is Walpurgis Night, and in spite of the hotelier's warning to not be late back, the young man later leaves his carriage and wanders toward the direction of an abandoned "unholy" village. As the carriage departs with the frightened and superstitious driver, a tall and thin stranger scares the horses at the crest of a hill.

Upon reaching a desolate valley after a few hours, it begins to snow and as a dark storm gathers intensity, the Englishman takes shelter in a grove of cypress and yew trees. The Englishman's location is soon illuminated by moonlight to be a cemetery, and he finds himself before a marble tomb with a large iron stake driven through the roof, the inscription reads: Countess Dolingen of Gratz / in Styria / sought and found death / 1801. Inscribed on the back of the tomb "graven in great Russian letters" is: The dead travel fast.

The Englishman is disturbed to be in such a place on such a night and as the storm breaks anew, he is forced by hail to shelter in the doorway of the tomb. As the Englishman avoids the pelting hail, the bronze door of the tomb opens under his weight and a flash of forked lightning shows the interior - and a "beautiful woman with rounded cheeks and red lips, seemingly sleeping on a bier". The force of the following thunder peal throws the Englishman from the doorway (experienced as "being grasped as by the hand of a giant") as another lightning bolt strikes the iron spike, destroying the tomb and the now screaming woman inside.

The Englishman's troubles are not quite over, as he painfully regains his senses from the ordeal, he is repulsed by a feeling of loathing which he connects to a warm feeling in his chest and a licking at this throat. the Englishman summons courage to peek through his eyelashes and discovers a gigantic wolf with flaming eyes is attending him.

Military horsemen are the next to wake the semi-conscious man, chasing the wolf away with torches and guns. Some horsemen return to the main party and Harker after the chase, reporting that they had not found 'him' and that the Englishman's animal is: "A wolf - and yet not a wolf". They also note that blood is on the ruined tomb yet the Englishman's neck is un-bloodied, "See comrades, the wolf has been lying on him and keeping his blood warm". Later, the Englishman finds his neck pained when a horseman comments on it.

When the Englishman is taken back to his hotel by the men, he is informed that it is none other than his expectant host Dracula that has alerted his employees, the horsemen, of "dangers from snow and wolves and night" in a telegram received by the hotel in the time the Englishman was away.

Film, TV, and other adaptations

  • David O. Selznick bought the film rights to "Dracula's Guest" and later re-sold them to Universal Studios. Universal's 1936 film Dracula's Daughter was ostensibly based on the story, although it uses nothing from the plot.[8]
  • Vampyros Lesbos a 1971 erotic horror film directed by Jesus Franco was "inspired" by Bram Stoker's short story.
  • A radio drama adaptation of "Dracula's Guest" was produced in 1999 by the Radio Tales series for National Public Radio.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse, a 2006 film by The Asylum, takes its title from the alternate name for Dracula's Guest, but bears little resemblance to the actual story by Bram Stoker.
  • A direct-to-DVD film titled Bram Stoker's Dracula's Guest was released in 2008, though it is not an adaptation of the story and uses nothing of the plot.
  • The 2008 book Dracula's Heir, written by Sam Stall, treats "Dracula's Guest" as a true story and expands it. In Dracula's Heir, the story revolves around why the chapter was removed from Dracula. The female vampire in "Dracula's Guest" is revealed to be the killer in Dracula's Heir, and the reason the chapter was removed was because she did not want her identity revealed.
  • Dracula was adapted in 2009 as a five-part comic book miniseries from Dynamite Entertainment. The miniseries, titled The Complete Dracula, incorporates "Dracula's Guest" into the story.[9]
  • Robot Comics published a comic book adaptation by Stephen Antczak, James Bassett and Steven Sanders in 2010.[10]
  • Dan Stevens read "Dracula's Guest" for BBC Radio 7 as part of the Short History of Vampires series in February 2011.[11]

Notes

  1. ^ Miller, Elizabeth. "20 Common Misconceptions About Bram Stoker and His Novel Dracula". http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~emiller/misconceptions.html. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  2. ^ Ross, Jack (2010-05-21). "Dracula's Guest". http://mairangibay.blogspot.com/2010/05/draculas-guest_21.html. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  3. ^ Klinger, page xii
  4. ^ Klinger, page 39, note 99
  5. ^ Klinger, page 9, note 1
  6. ^ Klinger, page 40, note 1
  7. ^ Klinger, page 515, note 27.
  8. ^ Skal, pp. 196–98
  9. ^ Brady, Matt (2009-01-30). "Moore & Reppion on 'The Complete Dracula'". Newsarama.com. http://newsarama.com/comics/010930-Moore-Reppion-Dracula.html. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Dracula’s Guest free mobile comic introduces Stoker to a new generation" (Press release). Robot Comics. 2010-03-19. http://www.robotcomics.net/2010/03/draculas-guest/. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  11. ^ http://www.dan-stevens.co.uk/content/draculas-guest-bram-stoker/

References

  • Klinger, Leslie S. (2008) The New Annotated Dracula. W.W. Norton & Co.. ISBN 0393064506.
  • Skal, David J. (1993). The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. Penguin Books. ISBN 0140240020.

Online texts


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