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Leslie S. Klinger

There is so much to say about this scene, but for starters, I'd point out that this is another of the "Dracula's Guest" lacunae. In the published narrative, we're never told why the fair vampire is so familiar to Jonathan. It's clear that this is the same vampire who attacks him outside Munich in the events recounted in the fictional "Dracula's Guest." When the episode was removed from the narrative, Stoker (or whoever did the removal--perhaps an editor) forgot to rewrite this reference.

I can't resist one other comment: The women and Dracula are often accused of preying on children, and this scene is offered as evidence. A careful reading, however (first suggested by Fred Saberhagen), will show that Jonathan never says that the "dreadful bag" contains a child's body. He says that a sound was heard "as of a half-smothered child." Saberhagen argues that it was a small animal, perhaps a pig, and that the gypsy woman who appears later looking for her child is unrelated to this.

Michael Gordon

To the first point: that explains a lot.

To the second: It's vampire stereotyping, based on the fact that both Dracula and Lucy prey on children. What I find interesting is how Lucy does no lasting harm to the children she feeds from. I'm not sure if Stoker had a consistent view of how much blood vampires need to drink or if he didn't want to bring Lucy to the level of a murderer.

Elizabeth Miller

Furthermore, note Harker's state of mind when he made this observation. He had just come close to being gang-raped by three voluptuous females - and had been rudely interrupted by the Count.

Bryan Alexander

Definitely a terrific scene. Always a favorite for my students.

That's a subtle point from Saberhagen, Leslie. Stoker sometimes does take pains with language. Compare with Mina's observations about Whitby looking like a postcard, for instance.

Michael, good point! What's the role of children victims in vampire stories pre-1897, I wonder.

Indeed, Elizabeth. "look[ing] out and s[eeing] perfectly under the lashes" and all.

Doesn't something like this scene get re-played in the Buffy Dracula episode?

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