A mouse would probably give its pumpkin whiskers, but this doodle is simple enough.
If you’ve noticed that my blog’s been a bit slow, I have a good reason. I said that I would be reading Dracula in September. Dracula has long been my favorite book, though it had been a while since my last read. I had forgotten a lot of the details that make it great.
I decided to reread it after almost a decade, and felt as if I were opening a new book. When a long time passes between rereads, you forget enough about a story for surprises become fresh as ever.
I finished two days ago and have been mulling over how well-written it is. ‘Composed’ in the form of letters and diary entries, it pulls you in. Being told from the viewpoint of the frightened heroes, it helps you share in the fright.
Here are five intriguing facts about Bram Stoker, creator of the most famous vampire in history.
He Wrote Other Books
I admit sheepishly to having been surprised when, surfing on Amazon, I found other books that Bram Stoker had written. Dracula overshadows them, but I am excited to explore some of his other titles.
He Was A Sickly Child
Bram Stoker suffered from a mysterious illness when he was a child that left him bedridden for long periods of time. Not much is known about this illness, but it seemed to clear up when he was seven years old.
One has to wonder if some of the horror stories Bram Stoker came up with originated during these periods he spent bedbound.
He Worked At Dublin Castle
Bram Stoker worked at Dublin Castle as a clerk during his time at university. When I learned this, I wondered how much this job would have influenced his descriptions of Castle Dracula later on.
After all, is this not the writer’s dream? Especially a writer of Gothic fiction! I can’t imagine that time in a castle wouldn’t have molded the stories he would pen.
Dracula Was Inspired By A Dream
Any author knows that dreams can give us the most bizarre ideas for stories. Whatever we come up with in the waking hours doesn’t stand a chance against what we do in slumber.
Bram Stoker claimed that his most famous book, Dracula, was inspired by a blood-sucker in a dream. He blamed the dream on a ‘too-generous helping of dressed crab at supper.’ Fans of gothic and horror literature can be thankful that the crab supper was so generous!
He Was Walt Whitman’s Fan
Bram Stoker sent fan mail to Walt Whitman. He was impressed by Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which he came across during his college years. The collection of poetry was controversial for its experimental style; this seems to have been the reason why Stoker was impressed by it.
In 1872 he wrote Whitman a 2000-word letter expressing his enthusiasm for Leaves of Grass and hoping that one day the two of them could be friends. They met three times after this, forming a friendship based on common interest in philosophy, theater, and literature.
Bram Stoker was a fascinating man, just the person to write a novel enthralling as Dracula. There is much more to be known about him, so I will be doing my research—if I’m not lost in one of his other novels!
On a side note, I have been writing again! It’s a historical romance, and I wrote 11k in about 2 days without meaning to. If there are any more pauses between posts, the reason is that I am writing a work of my own that I hope will have fans one day.
Forgive these pauses; I hope that one day you’ll read Tessa’s story and enjoy it as much as I love writing it!
Autumn is kicking in—the best time to get reading done! Chilly weather, a cup of tea, and a warm blanket set the mood, making your journey into a story somehow more tangible. As the world outside begins to settle into its slumber, we find in the pages of books a way by which we can live even more.
Do you know what you’re reading this month? My September TBR includes:
Stonehenge: A New Understanding by Mike Parker Pearson
I started reading this in late August. It’s not the sort of thing to speed-read; you’d lose a lot of interesting information! I’ve been interested in Stonehenge since I was very young, but the shows on television—at least at the time—seemed to focus on the ‘spooky’ reputation Stonehenge has, especially around Halloween.
While I love ghost stories, in this case it is more interesting to learn about the archaeological aspect of Stonehenge. With October near, I get the best of both worlds this year!
Dracula by Bram Stoker
I want to make two resolutions: First, to read a classic every month. I keep meaning to read all of the best known classics but keep getting distracted. Second, to reread a favorite every month. Dracula falls into both of those categories. I’ve read it twice and enjoyed both times; this was almost a decade ago, so I’d be going into it now almost as if it were a new book.
C.S. Lewis said, ‘I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.’ While it’s true that there are many books to read, I’d like to revisit some favorites and remember why they’re favorites. Dracula is also fitting for the season!
Meadowlands by Elizabeth Jeffrey
I’ve become a big fan of historical fiction. It’s the genre lean to when writing. Though I’ve dabbled a bit in mystery/crime fiction, it doesn’t come naturally. Investigating the fine points of crime is not as fun as researching the past!
Meadowlands by Elizabeth Jeffrey is one of the books I most look forward to. It’s set during the years of WWI and was in a list of books to read if you enjoy Downton Abbey (which I do—I’ve been rewatching the first season and it never gets old!)
In the Market for Murder by T.E. Kinsey
I read A Quiet Life in the Country, the first Lady Hardcastle mystery, last month. The clever characters and witty writing style has me hooked! Combining mystery with historical fiction, it’s perfect–those are the two things I enjoy most in a book!
If you’re looking for a good series to get hooked on, I’m a huge fan of Lady Hardcastle and plan to read all of the books!
What are you reading this month? Do you have any go-to books that set the mood for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!