Bram Stoker and the politics of Dracula

 

Sir,– I read with relish “Anglo-Vampirish – Frank McNally on Bram Stoker and the politics of Dracula” (An Irishman’s Diary, October 10th).

Whether or not the culmination of Dracula taking place in early November is coincidental, suggesting that there may be a connection with Guy Fawkes’s dastardly “popish” plot of 1605, implies that Stoker had sectarian motives.

While Stoker’s prolific and uneven fictional output included a later novel, The Mystery of the Sea (1902), that revisits the Catholic/Spanish threat to Protestant Tudor England, it is important not to confuse Stoker the man with his fictional output, especially as The Mystery of the Sea is overtly an historical novel, while Dracula is not.

In the preparation of my biography, From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker (2004), I paid particular attention to Stoker’s politics and found that he was a life-long Gladstonian Liberal and Home Ruler, then mainstream Irish nationalism.

From his auditorial address to the Trinity College Dublin Historical Society in 1872, at the age of 25, to his late article on the World’s Fair in Dublin in 1907, Stoker was crystal clear on the need for both traditions on the island of Ireland to transcend their differences, bury the past and focus on the future. – Yours, etc,

PAUL MURRAY,

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.