Lucy Westenra is a demure English girl, who’s biggest problem at the moment is being proposed to by three very eligible gentlemen. Dr.Seward is a psychiatrist, Quincey Morris is American and is fun to be with, but above these two, is Arthur Holmwood whom she truly loves. But weird things start happening to Lucy when she starts sleep-walking and is, one night, found in a graveyard with a man in a black hooded overcoat. She also has a mysterious wound on her neck which worries her doctor, Lord Van Helsing who has arrived to treat her at the behest of Dr.Seward.
When Lucy dies due to excessive blood loss, her family and friends are none the wiser about the meaning behind it. But Van Helsing has his own doubts, which are proved when he finds Lucy’s coffin empty in the crematorium. What’s even more bewildering is Lucy back in the same coffin during daytime, looking as beautiful as ever, without the slightest signs of being a one week old cadaver.
How did Lucy die? And why does she seem to be regaining her youth after death? And what are those 50 wooden boxes that the Count despatched to England from his castle? What does Mina have to do with all this, other than being Jonathan Harker’s wife? How many more will fall prey to the Count, and become the Un-Dead?
Bram Stoker answers all these and more with his amazing horror story of a book, ‘Dracula’. The book is a set of letters (between the various characters) and diary entries of the Harkers & Dr.Seward and traces the series of events that lead to the revelation of the true identity of Count Dracula and Mina Harker.
The language is pompous, characteristic of prim and proper English men and women, with exaggerated proclamations of friendship and faithfulness. But then, the novel was written in 1897 – enough reason why every sentence written reeks of chivalry! Some of those are so cliched-ly chivalrous, that if it weren’t for the fact that the book is about vampires, it would seem outright funny. It’s set in the England of yore, where women were treated as delicate darlings in the truest sense of the phrase.
What remains now is the on screen adaptation of the book. Something tells me I shouldn’t watch it alone. And maybe I should sleep with a couple of garlic cloves under my pillow!
An excerpt (from the back cover of the book) –
There he lay looking as if youth had been half renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-grey; the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck. Even the deep, burning eyes seemed set amongst swollen flesh, for the lids and pouches underneath were bloated. It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leach, exhausted with his repletion.