CR Episode 199: Dracula, Part I

Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker

Download Link: Released on 6 November 2023

The panel discusses the first four chapters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with attention given to the history of the author and the text, the epistolary and gothic form of the novel in its Romantic context, and the narrative development of tension.


  1. Bram Stoker certainly knows how to end with a cliffhanger! Jonathan planning to hang from a castle wall over a cliff. I read Dracula many, many years ago and only remember it being very long. I am glad to have a reason to read it again.

    I am also now inspired to read The Lair of the White Worm to see if it lives up to being one of the worst books ever written!

    O< O< O<


  2. There are some pretty atrocious things written now, surely it can’t be the worst. Would love to hear what you think when you get to it xD

    So far I’m completely sucked into Dracula! I’m very surprised. While I enjoyed it last time I read it, I also found it sometimes a bit boring. This time I’m hanging on my seat to see what is next. I remember little of it.

  3. What a magnificent choice for November! I’m enjoying it a lot already, so much so that I decided to contribute a comment – on a detai, but one that I find intriguing.

    Sean said that Frankenstein’s structure is simpler than Dracula’s, with only two narrators, Walton and Victor. This overlooks the creature, but not just him: there’s Saphie’s story, retold by the creature, there are letters from Victor’s father or Elizabeth, there are also many voices here. What does strike me as a significant difference between the novels is the Chinese box structure of Frankenstein (which leads to the paranoia of these third- or fourth-hand accounts that are hardly neutral (Victor literally edits Walton’s notes, especially in sections regarding interactions with the creature)). In Dracula all the narrative voices are separate, on one level, and equally trustworthy, I suppose (though self-reflexive remarks on the reliability of one’s story do appear: Jonathan wishes he could remember the Count’s story word for word, Mina is studying to be able to do just that, a journalist explains he can’t vouch for the reliability of the captain’s notes, because someone else translated them and so on.

    Certainly looking forward to the next episode!

  4. I am so glad you are covering Dracula. I never would have read it otherwise. I am having a similar reaction to it like I did when I read Frankenstein, which is that it is not what I expected. Movies and popular culture have distorted the original written narrative and overlooked so much. Thank you so much for looking at Dracula! I hope to have more inquisitive comments for you as you go along and I learn more.

  5. I have a question, something I was pondering today. Lucy sleepwalks and she seems to do so before a certain event. Do you think her sleepwalking is disconnected from that event or was she visited by a certain someone before that?

    Been savouring every page this week, but there’s only a handful left now. It’s going to take all my willpower to stop and remind myself the value of delayed gratification.

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