During a business visit to Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count's transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth.
Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula's grim fortress, but a friend's strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire. Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.
The most striking characteristic of Stoker's masterpiece is its solid grounding in late 19th-century Victorianism. This may prove frustrating to some readers. It is far from uncommon for the men in the tale to weep and bemoan the dangers threatening the virtuous ladies Lucy and Mina; virtue and innocence of women are hailed rather religiously. Mina, for her part, assumes the role then deemed proper for women, accepting and praising the men for their protection of her, worrying constantly about her husband rather than herself, shedding tears she must not let her husband see, etc. Yet, it is most interesting to see Mina rise above the circle of a woman's proscribed duties; she in fact becomes a true partner in the effort against Dracula, expressing ideas and conclusions that the men, with all of their wisdom, could not come up with themselves.