The private notebook of Dracula author, Bram Stoker, has been discovered in an attic on the Isle of Wight. The journal, by the famously private Dublin-born writer, offers a unique insight into the origins of his most famous literary creation as well as a snapshot of life in Victorian Dublin.
According to the Guardian, the notebook was discovered by the author’s great-grandson, Noel Dobbs, who sent photographs of pages from the book to his relative, Dacre Stoker, to confirm its authenticity. Now the so-called ‘The Lost Journal’, complete with annotations, is primed for publication next year to mark the centenary of Bram Stoker's death in 1912.
The 100 or so page manuscript chronicles Stoker’s time as a student at Trinity College and thereafter as a clerk at Dublin Castle.
"There are some definite parallels between this notebook and Jonathan Harker's journal, and certain entries from Bram's notebook actually resurfaced twentysomething years later in Dracula,” said Dacre Stoker. “Because he wrote little about himself, Dracula fans and Stoker scholars have largely been free to speculate about Bram. Rumours and myths have taken on a life of their own. Now, with this chapter of Bram's life revealed, the rest of his life will be more accurately interpreted."
Although the notebook’s final entries date from eight years before Stoker started work on Dracula there are, according to Dacre, a number of instances where the there are uncanny parallels between journal and the novel, including a man who "who reflects everybody's self who meets him" (vampires have no reflection).
Another entry refers to "a little boy who put so many flies into a bottle that they had not room to die". "This image is very interesting to me as it is a precursor to the tendencies of Bram's Renfield character in Dracula," said Dacre Stoker.