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Bryan Alexander

I am publishing this one on a different date than previously. This letter has no date, and usually appears right after Mina's first.

This time I'm delaying it a bit, placing it roughly midway between Mina's first letter and the next.

What do you think?

Elizabeth Miller

Stoker's Notes shed some light on this.

In the calendar he sets up for the novel, the following entry appears for May 17:
May 17 Wednesday - Lucy's letter to Mina

The <> around "proposals" indicates that this word was crossed out during revision. But Lucy's letter to Mina remains dated May 17 (today!)

The word "proposals" is moved later (to May 24) as follows:
May 24 Wednesday - Lucy's letter to Mina 3 proposals.

There is no reference in the Notes to Mina's letter to Lucy on May 9.

Note that May 17 and 24 fell on a Wednesday in 1893, the year in which the narrative is clearly set.

Leslie S. Klinger

I thought that this letter was more likely written on May 10, the day after Mina's letter--the British postal system was incredibly efficient. However, assigning a date of the 10th or the 17th (or the 24th) raises the tantalizing question of the year. Elizabeth Miller has committed herself to 1893, for reasons that go well beyond the space permitted here. I strongly disagree and date the entire affair in the late 1880's. For a detailed discussion, see my appendix headed "The Dating of Dracula." More when we get to the very end...

The geographic information conveyed in the heading of this letter is also tough to crack. London has two Chatham Streets: One is near Bethlam ("Bedlam") Hospital; the other is in a suburban neighbourhood more congenial to Lucy's description of walks and rides in the park.

Lucy and Mina, two women of very different social strata, were children together. Where else could this occurred but at school, and we must conclude that it was the very school at which Mina is now employed. We know from the Notes that Kate Reed (excised from the published manuscript) was another school chum, and there were others in their circle.

There are several sentences omitted from this letter that appear in the manuscript that do much to restore a better picture of Lucy. Here, she appears somewhat flighty; in the longer version, she is more thoughtful, and the changes of topic are explained in more detail. The manuscript also raises doubt as to whether Holmwood was "curly-haired" or straight-haired!

Elizabeth Miller

Here is one instance of a deletion from the manuscript that affects the characterization of Lucy. Originally Stoker wrote:
“He often comes to see us, and he and mamma get on very well together; they have so many things to talk about in common. I almost envy mother sometimes for her knowledge when she can talk to people whilst I have to sit by like a dumb animal and smile a stereotyped smile till I find myself blushing at being an incarnate lie. And it is so silly and childish to blush and without reason too.” This portrays Lucy as a more complex person.

Bryan Alexander

Thank you, Elizabeth and Leslie! What a tricky issue, dating this one letter.

That's a subtle point about Mina teaching at the same school where the two attended. As with our upcoming madhouse doctor, it offers a rich character situation, combining profession and psychological suggestion.

What a fascinating passage, Elizabeth. It places Lucy's subsequent actions in a more dramatic light. I will resist the spoiler temptation. :)

Andrew Connell

Heh, it is so fun to see such enthusiasts sling it out, excellent!

Another quote that may allude to Lucy being 'more' than who she is portrayed is from above: "Do you ever try to read your own face? I do, and I can tell you it is not a bad study..." To me, this indicates a thought-provoking amount of self-reflection. Very interesting.

On the subject of geography, Leslie and Elizabeth, I am using both of your resources (book and web) heavily for the cartography bits (of which, excitingly, many are forthcoming in future posts) - thanks to you both (and Bryan for posting the content)! Similarly to not being sure which dates to post non-dated material, the same problem obviously occurs in mapping certain routes. For instance, we know Lucy travels from London to Whitby sometime between May 24 and June 24, but we can't know exactly when. Thus up until now, rather than make up a date, I have opted to only map routes which are mentioned directly in the text.

By this logic, this extends to locations as well. Not knowing the exact locations of many principle spots in London (despite excellent and logical conjecture), I haven't attempted to map ‘micro’ routes within the city either – just sticking to the larger journeys (Varna-Whitby, Hull-Budapest, etc.). While it won’t be quite as satisfying with respect to the adventures in the city, it seems the only way to stay true to the actual book text rather than attempting to extrapolate with what is hypothesized to have occurred. BTW, this is why I left the previous map at the Borgo Pass and didn’t attempt to route further to the unknown whereabouts of the Castle [or even follow the assumption that it wasn’t the Borgo Pass at all but rather the Pékas (Bicaz) Pass further south].

I am happy to attempt the London routes if you think together we can settle upon general locations of the following: Hillingham, Ring, Carfax, the Asylum, 17 Chatham St., Lucy’s grave, and a few others. What do you all think? Stay true to the text or fill in the blanks?

Elizabeth Miller

Well, we can settle on Carfax and the Asylum. They are located near Purfleet (on a by-road) in Essex. It's about 20 miles east of London on the north bank of the Thames. When I went there a few years ago, I went by train - from Fenchurch Station.

This is not cartography, strictly speaking, but you should know (if you don't already) about the four sketches Stoker drew of the geographical layout of Whitby. (When we get to that part of the novel, I will elaborate.) They form part of Stoker's Notes for Dracula (124 pages in all) - recently published.

Andrew Connell

Excellent! Agreed about the Purfleet locations and easily mapped from the Fenchurch station to the 'general' Purfleet area. Still, to do any of the London maps I'd really want to do them all and I think Hillingham and Ring might be the two toughies. Folks put Hillingham north of London in Hampstead Heath, if all are agreed then I can do this as a general location as well. No clue on Ring though. Leslie had good ideas on Lucy's grave site in the book, I will read up on that bit.

As for the sketches of Whitby, no, I didn't know they existed - that's excellent! I assume you are referring to a link on your site to (http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~emiller/NotesDescrip.htm)? Our library system does not have the boook (not surprising) - are the sketches such that they provide a fair amount of detail? I'd love to do the daily routes within Whitby as well.

Spoiler: I have completed 24 maps total up through the end of August (18 for just the Demeter trip alone). Bryan is the only one to see them thus far and is going to post the links and screen shots on the appropriate days. Characters are in different colors to distinguish (I love Google maps)! Any data on specific locations you all have would make the thing really complete! Thanks!

Elizabeth Miller

Yes, that's the book they are in. Your library should buy a copy! :) They are simple, rather crude sketches. But one in particular will be very useful as it shows how/where he planned for the ship to come ashore. You should be able to map the daily routes. I have a small street map of Whitby with Dracula sites clearly marked. (Also have an Ordnance Survey map of the Whitby area, as well as photos taken 3 weeks ago of Whitby/Dracula locations - some of them are on my blog.) Later I can send some of this material along for you and/or Bryan to work on. I don't have the technical know-how... E-mail me privately about it (bloofer@telus.net)

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