Dracula by Bram Stoker

Possibly one of the most influential books ever. Put this one top of your reading list. Stoker created something beautifully disturbing here. Read on.

Main characters:

  • Count Dracula – The vampire
  • Jonathan Harker – A young solicitor. Engaged to Mina Murray
  • Mina Murray – Assistant schoolmistress. Jonathan’s fiancée
  • Miss Lucy Westenra – Mina Murray’s close friend
  • Dr. John Steward – Head of a lunatic asylum

Themes:

  • Sex
  • Modernity
  • Confinement

Why read Dracula?

Dracula is a book about the consequences of modernity in the Victorian era. It’s an absolute must read for anyone interested in Gothic literature. And anyone who wants to see where the modern day vampire evolved from.

Opening:

The book opens with Jonathan Harker, a young English solicitor, travelling to Transylvanian to finalize a real estate contract with the mysterious Count Dracula.

Harker receives warnings by locals of his destination. They give him crucifixes and other charms against evil. Harker is scared but determined to conduct his business.

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Credit: ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

Harker meets Count Dracula’s carriage as arranged and journeys to the Count’s castle.

Harker soon realizes he’s a captive of the count and attempts to escape.

Middle:

Dracula leaves Transylvania with 50 boxes of earth, set for England.

Harker’s fiancée Mina visits Lucy at the seaside town of Whitby. A ship is wrecked on the shore. The crew is missing, the captain dead.

Mina finds Lucy sleepwalking soon after. She believes she saw a dark figure with red eyes bent over Lucy.

Lucy has two tiny red marks on her neck that Mina can’t account for.

Lucy dies after a wolf attacks her. (is that really the end of Lucy?)

End:

Lucy becomes one of the “un-dead” and is caught preying on children. She is killed again.

Harker and his companions join forces and agree to destroy Dracula.

gianni_lunadei_interpretando_al_conde_dracula

Will Harker and co kill Dracula? What of Mina? Are you scared yet?

Read it.

Follow this link for a cheap version of the book.

Watch the movie trailer for the 1992 version here.

Clip Credit: YouTube user – ryy79

Favourite quote: 

“There is a reason why all things are as they are.” 

Reccomendations:

I honestly recommend everything to try this book. It had such a huge impact on literature and film, even now it still has an impact.

Stoker broke boundaries with this one.

5 out of 5 cup rating. 

This is part 5 in a series of 5 posts.

Part 1 –  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/dickens-charles/

Part 2 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/bronte-charlotte/

Part 3 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/bronte-emily/

Part 4 – Pride and Prejudice – by Jane Austen

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/austen-jane/

 

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This book is accessible enough for everyone. It’s a novel about romance, misfortune and religion – although not necessarily in that order. Highly critically acclaimed classic.

Main Characters:

  • Jane Eyre- Protagonist and narrator
  • Edward Rochester – Jane’s employer at Thornfield
  • Mrs. Reid – Jane’s aunt who raised her at Gateshead (Cruel and resentful of Jane)
  • St. John Rivers – Jane’s benefactor after she leaves Thornfield (Cold and controlled)
  • Bessie Lee – Maid at Gateshead
  • Bertha Mason – Rochester’s wife

(This is not a full character list – just the most significant)

Themes:

  • Social class
  • Love and possession
  • Religion
  • Gender equality

Opening:

Jane Eyre is a book about a mistreated orphan evolving into a poised educated woman who desires to be treated equally to men.

In her childhood Jane is an orphan in Gateshead house, under the care of her bitchy aunt  Mrs. Reid. She is mistreated by her relatives – most notably the bullying she endures from her cousin John Reid (nasty child)

Jane is sent to a school called Lowood where Mr. Brocklehurst – the schools headmaster does not practice the lifestyle he preaches. Jane befriends a lively girl called Helen Burns. The consumption epidemic reaches Lowood – Helen dies, Mr. Brocklehurst fleas. Gentlemen of a kinder disposition take over the school. Jane receives good schooling and remains with the school for 8 years. For 2 of those years she teaches.

Middle:

Bored of the school, she takes a job as a governess in Thornfield manor. Her student is a french girl called Adele.  Her employer is the moody and mysterious Mr. Rochester. Jane begins to fall in love with him, much to her own shock.

One night she saves him from a fire – he blames Grace Poole, an employee for starting the fire. But Jane is suspicious that Rochester is hiding something from her.

End:

Rochester proposes and Jane, shocked, accepts. Their wedding day arrives but something is amiss.

suspicious gif

Source: forums.realgm.com

What is the secret that Rochester guards so close? Where will Jane go? Who really started the fire?

Read on to find out.

Follow this link for a cheap version of the book.

Watch the trailer for Jane Eyre the 2011 version here.

Favourite quote:

“My very soul demands you” – Jane Eyre

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for romance mingled with a strong Victorian woman, unwillingly to settle for less than equality – you go girl.

4 out of 5 cup rating.

This is part 2 in a series of 5 posts.

Part 1 –  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/dickens-charles/

Part 3 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/bronte-emily/

Part 4 – Pride and Prejudice – by Jane Austen

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/austen-jane/

Part 5 – Dracula by Bram Stoker

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/stoker-bram/

 

 

 

ne and Rochester

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This book is definitely my favourite classic. It’s not difficult to get through at all. Once you get used to the diction it’s easy, and it is so entertaining. Austen succeeds in making marriage and family into a hilarious charade. Could not recommend this book more. Everyone needs to pick this book up.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

  • Elizabeth
  • Jane
  • Mr Darcy
  • Mr Bingley
  • Mr Bennett
  • Mrs Bennett
  • Lydia
  • Mr Wickham

THEMES:

  • Pride
  • Prejudice
  • Reputation
  • Love
  • Class

Why read Pride and Prejudice?:

Pride and Prejudice is a compelling tale about sisters, love, heartache and family.

Opening:

The book is set in the early 1800’s and is focused around the daughters of Mr and Mrs Bennett. Mrs Bennett is hell-bent on marrying off her five daughters to wealthy men. , However, one of the girls must marry/live off a male relative to inherit their own house as there is no male heir. Enter the blabbering Mr. Collins, a clergy man who wishes to marry one of his cousins.  Elizabeth, to her dismay, receives a proposal from Mr Collins. She refuses, resulting in her mother disintegrating into a state of hysterics.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) and Jane, the two oldest sisters are at the age to marry, want to marry for love and not to enhance their social standing. The three younger sisters, Mary, Kitty and Lydia are not yet old enough to be out in society.

Middle:

Jane meets the wealthy Mr Bingley at a ball – they fall madly in love. His sister does not approve of Jane.

Elizabeth meets Mr Darcy at the same ball. Mr Darcy is a close friend of Mr Bingley. Elizabeth finds Mr Darcy to be rude and arrogant.

Whilst in town one day a regiment of soldiers pass through: Kitty and Lydia go wild. Elizabeth becomes acquainted with a young officer: Mr Wickham, whom she finds attractive. She senses a lot of animosity between Mr Darcy and Mr Wickham. Mr Wickham recounts awful tales of Mr Darcy to her.

Ending:

What will come of Jane and Mr Bingley’s love? Why is Mr Darcy so mistrusting of Mr Wickham? Will Elizabeth ever find love?

Read it to find out – you won’t regret it.

reading a book

Source: ruinedchildhood.com

You can watch the movie in full here

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“You must know … surely, you must know it was all for you”

I would recommend this book to everyone – 4 out of 5 cup rating.

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This is part 4 in a series of 5.

Part 1 –  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/dickens-charles/

Part 2 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/bronte-charlotte/

Part 3 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/bronte-emily/

Part 5 – Dracula by Bram Stoker

https://lauranuala.wordpress.com/category/authors-a-z/stoker-bram/