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Ha ha!! The game is afoot! Thanks for bringing the count back again this year Bryan! Cheers


Here's something different - the first part of this entry from a Romanian edition. (Minus the diacritics which I am unable to add...)


Jurnalul lui Jonathan Harker (stenografiat)

3 mai. Bistrita. Parasit Munchenul la 8,35 seara, 1 mai. Sosit devreme la Viena, a doua zi dimineata. Ar fi trebuit sa sosim la orele 6,46, dar trenul a avut o ora intirziere. Budapesta pare un oras minunat, dupa cite mi-am putut arunca ochii din vagon si dupa cele citeva strazi pe care m'am plimbat, odata coborit din tren, insa mi-a fost teama sa ma departez prea mult de gara...

Keep in mind that in the novel, Count Dracula is not Romanian - as a Szekely, his first language would be Hungarian. In 1897 when "Dracula" was published, Transylvania was part of the Hungarian Empire (it did not join Romania until after WWI).

Note that Jonathan finds his smattering of German useful. Actually, Klausenberg (Now Cluj) and Bistritz are two of seven towns settled during the Middle Ages by Germans from Saxony. Indeed the German name for Transylvania is "Siebenbergen" (7 towns). The best preserved of the old German towns is Sighisoara (Schassburg)- not mentioned in the novel but best known as the birthplace of that other Dracula - you know, the one Stoker knew little about! :) In 2 weeks from today I will be in Sighisoara giving a paper at a symposium.

Sara Larson

Poor Jonathan. Don't you just want to reach into the text and tell him, "No, no, don't go!"?


So many wonderfully revealing bits in this opening entry--JH's comment about the women being pretty until one gets near them strikes me especially. Of course, much of the detail is lifted from other travel books (Paget, Boner, Crosse, Johnson, "Magyarland"--all of which are mentioned in Stoker's notes)that one must wonder whether Jonathan had anything original to observe!


"Of course, much of the detail is lifted from other travel books (Paget, Boner, Crosse, Johnson, "Magyarland"--all of which are mentioned in Stoker's notes)"

Well - almost! :)

Though Stoker may have been familiar with it, Paget's book "Hungary and Transylvania" is not mentioned in the Notes.


'Don't you just want to reach into the text and tell him, "No, no, don't go!"?'

It wouldn't make any difference ;). Jonathan is a lawyer who smells the money and there's not much a lawyer won't do when they smell the money. ;)


As lawyers go, though, there are some things that impress me about Jonathan in this passage. One is that he does his homework (or at least he does his best to do what he thinks will prepare him for the trip). Whether this is because people were just more conscientious about doing their homework back in Stoker's day, or it is simply because Dracula gets special treatment being a high net worth individual, or because Jonathan is genuinely more conscientious than most, it is much more impressive than I have usually encountered from lawyers.

Although Jonathan really has no clue (of course) what he is getting himself into, I find it interesting that, via his research, he senses that the history of Transylvania will have some significance (for example the Magyars conquering it from the Huns in the 11th century). Jonathan's research focuses on Transylvania's past, not its present, which is somewhat curious given that he is going to close a real estate deal where presumably knowing about present customs would be more useful. This turns out to be rather astute on Jonathan's part although he cannot possibly know why yet.

It seems somewhat odd that Jonathan Harker doesn't research the background of Count Dracula himself a bit more, though, given the extent to which he does his homework on the country and its history. Even if Castle Dracula cannot be found on a map one would expect from the entymology of the name that Jonathan would either be able to research the Count's background, or comment on his inability to do so.

I noticed on Wikipedia that the elevation of the Borgo Pass is only 1200m. I had always imagined it to be much higher.


I love Jonathan's early naivete and his, unintentionally, sardonic humor.

"The women looked pretty, except when you got near them..."

He has a few of these in the coming chapters as well. Stoker does a wonderful job of capturing a innocent, refined Englishman in the countryside.


I've created a map showing Jonathan's route from Munich to Vienna to Budapest to Cluj to Bistrita. Have to research further before extending into the Borgo Pass.

The route:



Re Harker's route. I checked the google map and the closest I can pinpoint the location of the fictional castle (close to where the Hotel Castle Dracula now is) is near the village of Piatra Fantanele. I'll take my map with me next week and check it out while I am there. Our tour takes us first to Bistritz and then east into the Carpathians and the Borgo Pass and on to Suceava.


"Jonathan's research focuses on Transylvania's past, not its present, which is somewhat curious given that he is going to close a real estate deal"

True! I wonder if it may have to do with his impression of the Count as old nobility and perhaps a sense that someone whose family has very old roots might have an interest in that sort of history. Preparing conversation starters, as it were. What a gentleman! -- though Harker's comments about wanting to "see all I could of the ways of the country" also mark him as a first-time tourist who just wants the full experience!


/ The book really wasn't what you'd exepct after watching the movie, was it? What I remember most though was how small the print on the copy I was reading ;p Yea, it was that tiny!ppsst, I really liked the movie!

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