Re-reading Dracula by Bram Stoker

Actually, I don’t know if I ever read it. I’ve seen so many movies based on the book, most notably the iconic Universal Pictures version with Bela Lugosi, that the story, or it’s main elements, are extremely familiar. It was time to put that uncertainty to rest. However, there was another motivation.

My son, knowing my fondness for all things Dracula and Icelandic, came across this most unusual find. There is an Icelandic version of Dracula with a Preface by Bram Stoker himself. Long thought, that is for 100 years since it’s publication in 1901, to be simply a translation, it turns out to be largely a rewrite. The mystery is it’s provenance and how Bram Stoker and Vladimar Asmundsson came in contact with each other, how they arranged to produce this version and why it is so different from the original. It is, unmistakably, a version of Dracula. It contains plot elements which are only found in Stoker notes and research and never found their way into the original. This indicates it’s authenticity as well as originality.

The story was originally published in a newspaper, as a serial, by Amundsson; the newspaper he owned and oppowers-of-darknesserated. Likely the differences are due to it’s original venue and intent. However, it later was published as a book. It was little known even in Iceland and certainly in the wider world. No one bothered to look beyond the preface by Stoker until Hans De Roos, out of curiosity started to translate the rest of the book. It became immediately evident this was not simply a translation.

De Roos has put out a nice hardcover edition which includes a preface by Dacre Stoker, his introduction regarding the finding of the version and speculation on it’s history and origin as well as his own translation of Stoker’s preface as well.

I decided I needed to read the original before dipping into this gem! I highly recommend it to fans of Bram Stoker and Dracula.

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