By Lucy Hartbury, author of Dracula: The Wild and Wanton Edition
“Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will! He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone.” (Dracula, Bram Stoker)
Thus begins the famous meeting between Victorian lawyer, Jonathan Harker and Count Dracula, in the iconic Gothic horror classic. Dracula is one of our best known fictional characters, immortalised in films and TV programmes worldwide, but the original novel is often forgotten. Although a late Victorian Gothic classic, it’s an accessible and gripping read, which sends a cold chill down the strongest spine! Check out the extract below, from when Jonathan realises the Count’s powers for the first time.
‘But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings.’ (Dracula, Bram Stoker)
Written in a series of diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings, the original Dracula has a level of sensuality that was unusual in Victorian, mainstream novels. Subtle by today’s standards, it was the saucy read of its time, and it is these elements that I have enhanced to suit the modern reader, whilst still retaining the original classic novel. Have you ever wondered what happened between Jonathan Harker and Dracula’s women during his imprisonment in the castle? Or between the tragic Lucy and the three men who were so desperately in love with her? In my new version, all these elements—only hinted in the original— have been revealed in all their glory.
…it is visions of the three women that I see, leaning over me, with their dark and blonde hair mingling as their lips pull back from sharp teeth. What type of kisses would they offer? (Lucy Hartbury, Dracula)
It is not only the Count and his women who provide the inherent sensuality in Dracula. A major part of the plot is the relationship between the newly married Jonathan and his shy wife Mina. Awakened by the presence of the Count, Mina changes from a Victorian prude to a seductress, who revels in her new-found sexuality.
So why celebrate this Halloween with a spiced up version of the original classic, which spawned so many films and books? Available in two volumes, Dracula is a must-have read for lovers of saucy paranormal!