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Gothic Romance

Bram Stoker, Dracula and the Victorian Gothic Stage by Catherine Wynne (auth.)

By Catherine Wynne (auth.)

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Extra resources for Bram Stoker, Dracula and the Victorian Gothic Stage

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Its interruption, he contended, resulted in illness. Mesmer cured his patients by making magnetic passes over their bodies to remove the blockage. His claims to scientific validity, however, were challenged, not only by medical authorities in France, where he practised his cure, but also because of the ritualistic manner in which he conducted his magnetic treatments. In the second edition of Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852), Charles Mackay, in a description in which drama and magic coalesce, presents Mesmer appearing in his treatment rooms waving his wand, like Prospero, to work new wonders.

For the painter W. Graham Robertson, Terry inhabits otherworldliness: Ellen Terry was a daughter of the night, happy in its shadow and mystery and loving the moon with a strange ecstasy which I have never met with in another. She was weary, the moon rested her; she was sad, the moon consoled her; she was anxious, the moon gave her peace; like the Princess Daylight of the fairy-tale she seemed to wax and wane with it, and only at the full of the moon was the true Ellen Terry at her very best. (1945: 143) Terry’s association with mystical or non-human figures is, as discussed in Chapter 2, simultaneously liberating and constricting.

It opens with anti-landlord comments, as one of the tenants on the Raby estate observes that ‘the lords of Raby were good landlords – but there is something better than a good landlord, and that’s no landlord at all’, a comment that draws this Welsh vampire play into dialogue with Boucicault’s Irish nationalist melodramas. With Lucy’s destruction by the vampire and Arthur’s attempts to revenge her, Boucicault’s play and Stoker’s novel share more than just names. The second drama or act opens on 15 August 1760 and follows the familiar vampire story but here Boucicault adds portraits of Lucy, the murdered Raby brothers and Roland Peveril over the castle’s vaulted entrance, as well as a portrait covered with a black veil.

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