On this day, 123 years ago, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published for the first time. Since then, it has become globally iconic. As a lover of Dracula, and all things vampire, I would like to wish all of you a happy World Dracula Day!
You may or may not know this, but the Dracula most of us have come to recognize is not the same character from Stoker’s novel. The modern depiction of Dracula leans more heavily on the Hamilton Deane stage play. Used as the basis for the classic 1931 Dracula motion picture by Universal, which happens to be my favorite film ever, it re-imagines the Count as more suave and dapper from the get go. He enslaves Renfield, only a minor character in the book, after Renfield journies to Dracula’s castle to secure the lease on Carfax Abbey. In the novel, it is Jonathan Harker who does this, though he is not enslaved to the degree which Renfield is in the film. Other changes are made, such as character names and story lines, but it is (in my own opinion) a far more entertaining story than the original. Fun fact: Bela Lugosi, who had to lobby extensively to win the role of Dracula onscreen, actually originated that very role on the stage on October 5, 1927. I was born on that same day, though quite some time later! So, here’s to all the Draculas out there. While Stoker certainly wasn’t the first to ever write about vampires, he was the one who gave us our legendary Count. Happy World Dracula Day!