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Elizabeth

This is from a postcard that I purchased in Whitby several years ago. The photograph, somewhat contemporary with Stoker's novel, gives us a visual of what Stoker describes in the first paragraph of Chapter 6.

The photo is taken from Westcliff, looking across to East Cliff, exactly the view that Mina describes (and from the same angle).

In the far background (to the right) are the ruins of Whitby Abbey. Moving left, we see St Mary's church, and if you look closely you can see the tombstones in the graveyard. Also visuble are the 199 steps going up to the cemetery.

To the left is the cliff where the "Demeter" comes ashore.

Whitby looks pretty much the same today. You can get an identical view if you find the Bram Stoker Memorial Seat (West Cliff) and look across.

Elizabeth


Here is some more info on Whitby and its significance for the novel. (The following is cut and pasted from my Dracula's homepage)

Whitby is a town of about 14,000 located on the North Sea about 50 miles northeast of York, England, on the edge of the famous North York Moors. The town, a fishing port and a vacation resort, is on a rugged coastline at the mouth of the River Esk. The river mouth as it opens into the North Sea provides an excellent harbor which divides the town into two parts (East and West) connected by a bridge. Whitby is famous as the place from which Captain Cook sailed, on ships built in the town. A monument to Cook is a prominent feature of the town.

What is the connection between Whitby and Dracula? First of all, Whitby figures quite centrally in a significant section of the novel Dracula (Chapters 6-8). It is where the Russian ship "Demeter" comes ashore and is the location of the first encounters between Dracula and Lucy. Today, there are many points of interest for the Dracula enthusiast in Whitby.

One of the highlights is the Bram Stoker Memorial seat. It was the view from this spot that inspired Stoker's Whitby scenes. One can look straight across the harbor and can see the ruins of the Abbey, the Church, and the stone steps. And just to the left is the cliff where the "Demeter" came ashore. There is an inscription on the bench which reads as follows: "The view from this spot inspired Bram Stoker (1847-1912) to use Whitby as the setting of part of his world-famous novel DRACULA. This seat was erected by Scarborough Borough Council and the Dracula Society to mark the 68th Anniversary of Stoker's death - April 20th 1980".


The most prominent landmark in Whitby is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes. As Stoker writes, "It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits.... Between it and the town there is another church, the parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones".

It was at Whitby that Stoker "discovered" the name "Dracula." While vacationing there in the summer of 1890, just months after he began writing his vampire novel, he visited the local library and borrowed a book entitled An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (1820) by William Wilkinson. He took several notes from it (now part of his papers housed at the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia.) Wilkinson's book includes a short section on a "voivode Dracula" who fought against the Turks. Though the information was sketchy, one item attracted Stoker's attention (he copied it verbatim into his notes): a footnote that "Dracula in the Wallachian language means Devil." Stoker decided to change the name of his vampire Count from "Wampyr" to "Dracula". An inspired decision!

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Selki

As much as I dislike spam, I do have to say that the idea of spam from dentists on a Dracula blog (see above) gives me a laugh.

On topic, I love the Whitby photo Elizabeth Miller found.

Bryan Alexander

I'm with you, Selki. It's hard to resist. I await a blood transfusion ad, or a Gurkhi knife seller's comment...

Selki

That might be a fun way to fill in the months between (the blogging of) the stop and start of the book.

Dracula
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granite

This title"Dracula" fascinates me as the summary of this story...hats off to you ..

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Dont understand what draculas have in this world where people are enough to scare shit out of others.

Selki

It's simple and dramatic to imagine being in a fight with an evil that must be destroyed. Struggling with real people, some of them very scary, and some messed-up but still dangerous, is more complicated, and sometimes a boring slog. I think that's some of the appeal of Dracula.

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Mary

yes but all these new breed vampires (True Blood and such) have no fieanrkg weaknesses. If a vampire could walk during the day and have excessive strength and agility, why wouldn't mankind have been enslaved already in these stories?Now, I neither watch True Blood or read any of Hamilton's books, but seems kinda far fetched as much as an already far-fetched idea can be, eh?

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