Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 146: Introduction to “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, Ch. 1 & 2

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford is joined as always by Thomas Banks and Cindy Rollins for the opening of their series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Today our hosts focus on the background and historical context for this piece of literature, as well as going over the highlights of the first two chapters. They talk about the question of the role of the monster in literature in modernity versus its historical interpretation. Understanding the form of the Gothic novel and the time period in which this book was written are important aspects of approaching Dracula.

Keep listening next week for more about how to read this book. We will be covering chapters 3-7.

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Commonplace Quotes:

And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere modernity cannot kill.

Bram Stoker

That children should have the peace of God as a necessary condition of growth is a practical question. If we believe it is their right, not to be acquired by merit nor lost by demerit, we shall take less upon ourselves and understand that it is not we who pasture the young souls. The managing mother who interferes with every hour and every occupation of her child’s life, all because it is her duty, would tend to disappear. She would see with some amusement why it is that the rather lazy, self-indulgent mother, is often blessed with very good children. She, too, will let her children be, not because she is lazy, but being dutiful, she sees that, give children opportunity and elbow room, and they are likely to become natural persons, neither cranks nor prigs. And here is the hope for society–children so brought up are hardly likely to become managing persons in their turn, inclined to intrude upon the lives of others and be rather intolerable in whatever relation.

Charlotte Mason

Men of science spend much time and effort in the attempt to disentangle words from their metaphorical and traditional associations. The attempt is bound to prove vain, since it runs counter to the law of humanity.

Dorothy Sayers


by Elizabeth Jennings

Those houses haunt in which we leave
Something undone. It is not those
Great words or silence of love

That spread their echoes through a place
And fill the locked-up, unbreathed gloom.
Ghosts do not haunt with any face

That we have known; they only come
With arrogance to thrust at us
Our own omissions in a room.

The words we would not speak they use,
The deeds we dared not act they flaunt,
Our nervous silences they bruise;

It is our helplessness they choose
And our refusals that they haunt.

Book List:

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Wake Not the Dead by Johann Ludwig Tieck

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Vampyre by John Polidori

Varney the Vampire by James Malcolm Rymer

Carmilla by Sheridan Lefanu

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