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"Dracula's Guest" follows an Englishman (whose name is never mentioned but is presumed to be Jonathan Harker) on a visit to Munich before leaving for Transylvania. It is Walpurgis Night, and in spite of the hotelier's warning to not be late back, the young man later leaves his carriage and wanders toward the direction of an abandoned "unholy" village. As the carriage departs with the frightened and superstitious driver, a tall and thin stranger scares the horses at the crest of a hill. Upon reaching a desolate valley after a few hours, it begins to snow and as a dark storm gathers intensity, the Englishman takes shelter in a grove of cypress and yew trees. The Englishman's location is soon illuminated by moonlight to be a cemetery, and he finds himself before a marble tomb with a large iron stake driven through the roof, the inscription reads: Countess Dolingen of Gratz / in Styria / sought and found death / 1801. Inscribed on the back of the tomb "graven in great Russian letters" is: The dead travel fast. The Englishman is disturbed to be in such a place on such a night and as the storm breaks anew, he is forced by hail to shelter in the doorway of the tomb. As the Englishman avoids the pelting hail, the bronze door of the tomb opens under his weight and a flash of forked lightning shows the interior - and a "beautiful woman with rounded cheeks and red lips, seemingly sleeping on a bier". The force of the following thunder peal throws the Englishman from the doorway (experienced as "being grasped as by the hand of a giant") as another lightning bolt strikes the iron spike, destroying the tomb and the now screaming woman inside.
Even in the twenty-first century, the undead walk among us... Before Twilight and True Blood, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula. Acclaimed author and anthologist Michael Sims brings together the finest vampire stories of the Victorian era in a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety. Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Aleksei Tolstoy's tale of a vampire family to Fitz James O'Brien's invisible monster to Mary Elizabeth Braddon's rich and sinister widow, Good Lady Ducayne. Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and finishes the collection with Stoker's own Dracula's Guest - a chapter omitted from his landmark novel. Vampires captivated Victorian society, and these wonderful stories demonstrate how Romantic and Victorian writers refined the raw ore of peasant superstition into a whole vampire mythology of aristocratic decadence and innocence betrayed.
Bram Stoker's most famous work, Dracula tells the story of Jonathan Harker and his beloved Mina as Jonathan goes to finalize a land deal with the brooding Count Dracula. Dracula makes his way to London and turns Mina's friend Lucy into one of the Undead as well as Mina herself. Jonathan then races to Transylvania to save his beloved wife, but will he arrive in time?
At the peak of his career, Abraham "Bram" Stoker (November 8, 1847 - April 20, 1912) was working as an assistant for his friend, Shakespearean actor Sir Henry Irving, a well known and acclaimed actor in his day. But it would be the assistant whose name would outshine the boss's. Stoker, an Irish novelist and short story writer, is known around the globe for his Gothic horror character Dracula. Inspired in part by his friend Irving, as well as the notorious Vlad the Impaler, Stoker studied stories about vampires, but ultimately his Count Dracula would become synonymous with the famous monsters. And drawing off his experience as a newspaper writer, Stoker wrote Dracula as a collection of realistic diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's logs, and newspaper clippings, all of which made the story that much scarier and unique.
Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic shocker introduced Count Dracula to the world. He plans to wreak havoc on London, and only a small band of men and women, led by Professor Van Helsing, can defeat him. Dracula is the most famous of vampire stories, and remains a rattling good read. This edition includes the companion piece, 'Dracula's Guest'.

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