Dracula: Celebrating 100 Years, edited by Leslie Shepard and Albert Power (Mentor, £9.99)

 

Shepard and Power are the tireless helmsmen who have steered the Bram Stoker Society from its position at the edge of the known literary world to an internationally acknowledged organisation which possesses a fund of information about the author who, a hundred years after the first publication of Dracula, finally seems to be taking his place in the pantheon of Irish literary heroes. It is, of course, a highly specialised place, and this collection of essays ranges over some delightfully arcane subjects, from a 1924 editorial from the Occult Review entitled Are there Such things as Vampires? to a study of the cross as a primeval talisman against evil to, of all things, an interview with Winston Churchill conducted by Stoker, in wannabee journalist mode, in January 1908 and published in The Daily Chronicle. There's also a copy of Stoker's obituary and a translation into Irish of the story Dracula's Guest - which emerges, eerily Romanian, as Aoi Dracula. A.W.