The great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker is writing the first authorised prequel to “Dracula”, based on scholarly research into the original, unedited version of the Irish writers 1897 tale of the undead Count, as well as Stoker family legends.
Dacre Stoker and co-writer J.D. Barker’s prequel “Dracul” is set in 1868, and sees a 21-year-old Bram encountering some of the creatures he would later write about, reports the Guardian.
The story focuses on Bram and his family, as a young boy growing up in Clontarf, Artane and Dublin. These parts were based on Stoker family background stories and knowledge, all of the existing biographies, and excerpts from “The Lost Journal” (Bram’s private notebook).
But the story will centre on Bram’s encounter with “an ungodly evil, which he traps in an ancient tower”.
The book is due out next year.
According to Dacre, who also wrote a sequel to “Dracula” in 2009, there are 102 pages missing from the original draft of “Dracula”.
He believes that only 17 of them have ever been found — published as short story “Dracula’s Guest” by Bram’s widow Florence in 1914.
“Dracula’s Guest” features a nameless character – “very much like” Dracula’s protagonist Jonathan Harker, said Dacre.
He makes his way to Transylvania, stopping in Munich for the night.
“(Florence) wrote in its preface that it was edited out of Dracula due to the length… The story fits as part of the early narrative, so most likely it was part of the missing pages,” the Guardian quoted Dacre as saying.
To write their prequel, Dacre and Barker have picked over the original typescript, as well as Bram’s notes and journals, to analyse what else the lost section might have featured.
They searched “for lines that were crossed out that may have referenced anything Bram had to take out of the 102 pages”, said Dacre.
“These crossed-out lines gave us clues about what may have been on those missing pages. Since ‘Dracul’ is a prequel… We wanted to have a really good idea what was included in Bram’s original and unedited version of ‘Dracula’.”