Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula was first published on 26 May 1897 (the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee) by Archibald Constable and Company. Although it wasn’t the first vampire novel to be published, it is the one which has the greatest influence, a cultural phenomenon which established many modern notions of vampire lore and spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
Back in 1897 the novel was bound in bright yellow cloth with contrasting red lettering and priced at a few shillings. Today, copies of the first printing in the original binding sell for anything between £10,000 and £25,000. But how did Stoker come to change the course of supernatural fiction and create one of the most famous literary characters of all time?
“I have learned not to think little of any one’s belief, no matter how strange it be. I have tried to keep an open mind; and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.”Van Helsing in Bram Stoker’s Dracula