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Bram Stoker pp 91-119 | Cite as

On Holiday

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Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)

Abstract

Almost as important to Stoker’s fiction as London are the places to which he travelled during the years that he lived there. For Stoker, travel represented freedom, adventure, and a loosening of the constricting standards of Victorian morality: as Rupert Sent Leger remarks in The Lady of the Shroud, ‘To travel in strange places amongst strange peoples with strange views of their own is to have odd experiences and peculiar adventures now and again; a man without human passions is not of the type necessary for an adventurous life, such as I myself have had’ (Shroud: 72). Rupert’s view gives an important clue to one of the recurrent themes of Stoker’s depictions of non-London locations: they offer sites both of sexual opportunity and of sexual discrimination, in the form of allowing the demonisation and incrimination of women. At home, Stoker might be the dutiful husband of Florence, but outside it, his imagination brings him into dangerous proximity with wayward, wicked women whom he is free to demonise and punish however he likes. In new locations, new truths can be revealed; and indeed specific locations in Stoker often function effectively as tropes, offering, as it were, dis-locations of the familiar and expected and revealing strange new levels of meaning and association for them.

Keywords

Wild Rose Miraculous Cure Human Passion Sexual Opportunity Strange Place 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Barbara Belford, Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), pp. 69Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jean Lonain, ‘Magic Lantern’, in Late Victorian Gothic Tales, ed. Roger Luckhurst (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 171–6Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Andrew Smith, ‘Demonising the Americans: Bram Stoker’s Postcolonial Gothic’, Gothic Studies 5.2 (2003), pp. 20–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Daniel Farson, The Man Who Wrote Dracula: A Biography of Bram Stoker (London: Michael Joseph, 1975), p. 89.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    David Glover, Vampires, Mummies, and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), p. 13.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Paul Murray, From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker (London: Jonathan Cape, 2004), p. 28.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
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  8. 14.
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  10. 25.
    For a full discussion of the novel and of the real-life events which it represents, see Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age (Harmondsworth: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1991), pp. 331–42.Google Scholar
  11. 26.
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  12. 28.
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  13. 36.
    Pericles Lewis, ‘Dracula and the Epistemology of the Victorian Gothic Novel’, in Dracula: The Shade and the Shadow, ed. Elizabeth Miller (Westcliff-on-Sea: Desert Island Books, 1998), pp. 71–81Google Scholar
  14. 39.
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  15. 45.
    For discussion of Dracula in terms of menstruation, see Marie Mulvey-Roberts, ‘Dracula and the Doctors: Bad Blood, Menstrual Taboo and the New Woman’, in Bram Stoker: History, Psychoanalysis and the Gothic, ed. William Hughes and Andrew Smith (Basingstoke: Macmillan — now palgrave Macmillan, 1998), pp. 78–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Lisa Hopkins 2007

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