Bram Stoker pp 91-119 | Cite as

On Holiday

Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)


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.


Wild Rose Miraculous Cure Human Passion Sexual Opportunity Strange Place 
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© Lisa Hopkins 2007

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