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This Day in History, 1897: Dracula

One hundred and eight years ago today...

Horror writer Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula, is first offered for sale in London on this day.

Through fictional journal entries and letters written by the novel's principal characters, Dracula tells the story of a Transylvanian vampire and his English victims. Stoker had been publishing horror stories since 1875 and published his first novel, Snake's Pass, in 1890. The horror genre, which was born of folk tales and legends, had received a boost in 18th century England through the Gothic movement. It persisted in the 19th century thanks to works like Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein.

Personal note: When I was in high school, there were two books I read that inspired me to keep a diary. Believe it or not, one of them was Dracula, because the book is written in epistolary format. (The other was Isaac Asimov's autobiography.) I reread the novel last year and it still holds up very well. If you've never read it, consider doing so. You can easily find it in a bookstore, in a library, or on the web.
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