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David40

So now we know for certain that Jonathan and Mina live in Exeter.

This is an interesting passage. It initially focuses on Dracula's potential need for multiple attorneys and his desire that his lawyers serve his needs only (rather than a local favor). Dracula seems very concerned on this point, and it is a bit unclear what his motives are. Presumably once the sale takes place it shouldn't matter which particular palms were greased. Despite Dracula's claim to have 'much of affairs', it actually seems unlikely that Dracula will be doing much business (of a legal nature) once he arrives--so his concerns about understanding the details seem a little unclear. Perhaps, given Dracula's known 'eccentricities', which are likely to become known to any firm handling his real estate transactions, are things Dracula wants to keep as secret as possible. He doesn't want a local law firm poking around the neighborhood out of curiosity once he arrives.

Still, one is left with the sense that Dracula has bigger plans, not fully explained. Will those plans be explained later in the book?

Dracula's motive for requesting the various letters from Jonathan, and the time frame of a month--seem clear enough. If something unexpected were to befall Jonathan, Dracula wants to keep a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Jonathan for as long as possible. Dracula probably does not have any direct designs on Jonathan--there seems to be a perverse form of heterosexuality surrounding vampirism--but is happy to leave Jonathan to some difficult fate simply because Jonathan knows too much. This may also provide some explanation for Dracula's inquiries about the lawyers. If Jonathan--after finishing his duties--meets some unpleasant fate in the castle, and Dracula is careful regarding the plans for receiving goods, he may be able to take possession of his new estate without ever having personally met any of his surviving attorneys. This is probably Dracula's goal.

The final part of this passage--where Dracula alludes to safety for Jonathan within, but only within, his own rooms--is interesting. One has the impression of a castle that is ordinarily completely and totally dead. Somehow, though Dracula has created some kind of a temporary sense of home--of life--however rudimentary, within Jonathan's rooms. It is interesting to me how he might be able to do this--how Dracula can afford Jonathan any kind of protection at all seems odd given what Dracula is.

Baby Jinx

"So now we know for certain that Jonathan and Mina live in Exeter."

Well, Jonathan anyway. Mina is living at a school where she has a post as assistant schoolmistress (we learned this in Mina's letter to Lucy, dated 9 May). Whether or not Mina's school is in Exeter, we don't know. It probably doesn't make any difference anyway. It appears that Lucy lives in or near London, as she mentions (in the one letter that's been posted) being called upon several times by a man with "an immense lunatic asylum all under his own care." That can only be Dr Seward, and he lives next to Carfax Abbey which, as we've seen in Dracula's talks with Jonathan, is in the Purfleet area (east London IIRC).

Elizabeth

"he lives next to Carfax Abbey..."

Can't resist, BJ. There is no such place as "Carfax Abbey" in Stoker's novel.It is just "Carfax." "Carfax Abbey" is an invention of the Balderston/Deane play/movie script of the 1920s.

Lucy's letter was sent from Chatham Street, located in Walworth (south London).

As for Purfleet, it is (strictly speaking) not "east London". It is in the county of Essex, about 20 miles east of London, on the north bank of the Thames.

Baby Jinx

"Can't resist, BJ. There is no such place as 'Carfax Abbey'"

I knew that :) Just goes to show how deeply ingrained are some of those errors, even amongst we who think we know a lot about the novel.

Elizabeth

David: re the lawyers

Stoker certainly belabors the issue of lawyers. That may be in part because in 1890, the year he started working on the novel, he was called to the Bar. While he did not actually practice (as far as we know), he seems to have taken delight in showing off his legal knowledge.

One could question Harker's ethics, though. He admits that he was just about to look at two of Dracula's unsealed letters when the Count came in. We shall see many such examples of questionable ethical practices as the story progresses.

And I thought lawyers were always ethical!!! :)

Baby Jinx

"And I thought lawyers were always ethical!!!"

I have to wonder whether Dracula might have left those letters lying there with the expressed purpose of letting Jonathan see them?

David40

"We shall see many such examples of questionable ethical practices as the story progresses."

The fact that we are reading it at all makes everything we have read so far, with the exception of Mina's and Lucy's letters, a violation of attorney-client privilege :) .

Baby Jinx

"One could question Harker's ethics, though. He admits that he was just about to look at two of Dracula's unsealed letters when the Count came in."

I must admit that my legal training amounts to whatever I've learned from watching "People's Court", but I can cut Jonathan some slack for thinking of peeking at the Count's letters, considering that Jonathan feels his life is in danger. Under the circumstances, I'm sure that I would try to learn everything I could, on the supposition that something learned might be the hinge on which I live or die.

EMMA ODOMCWELL

I BELIVE IN U MR/MRS DRACULA BUT I AM IN LOVE!!!!!

EMMA ODOMCWELL

I BELIVE IN U MR/MRS DRACULA BUT I AM IN LOVE!!!!!

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