BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Arts
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Dracula manuscript fails to sell
Dracula is said to be the most filmed character in history
Dracula: Said to be the most filmed character in history
The original manuscript of the famous horror novel Dracula failed to sell at auction in New York on Wednesday.

The 529-page document, lost for almost a century, was expected to fetch more than 1m at Christie's auction house.

But the typescript, heavily amended by hand and signed by author Bram Stoker, failed to match an undisclosed minimum reserve price.

A Christie's spokesperson said the house was "disappointed" by the result.

Dracula manuscript
The manuscript bears the novel's original title
The typescript is notable for bearing the author's original handwritten title for the work, The Un-Dead.

Probably typed by Stoker in London between 1890 and 1897, it is the only surviving full-length manuscript of Dracula.

The manuscript is signed or initialled by Stoker in many places and contains a different ending to the one finally published in 1897.

In Stoker's typescript, after the characters Harker and Morris kill Count Dracula, the Count's castle is destroyed in a sudden volcanic cataclysm.

'Mysterious disappearances'

Christie's spokesman Francis Wahlgren said: "It is highly unusual for the manuscript of a major work of fiction to be entirely lost from sight for almost a century.

"But in the case of the original typescript of Dracula, the very existence of which was not suspected until its discovery in 1980, such a sudden re-emergence seems appropriate.

"It is as if it is mirroring the mysterious disappearances and reappearances of Count Dracula in Stoker's classic horror novel."

Dracula manuscript
The novel has been translated into 44 languages
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847 into a respectable middle-class Protestant family.

As a boy, he suffered from an unknown affliction which appears to have prevented him from walking until the age of seven.

In 1871, Stoker became the unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Evening Mail and the next year published his first short story, The Crystal Cup, in London Society.

Dracula was published in June 1897 in a first print run of 3,000 copies, but received rather mixed reviews - despite the support and acclaim of Stoker's friend, Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

But the novel has since been translated into 44 languages and sold millions of copies around the world.

Dracula is also said to be one of the most filmed fictional character after Sherlock Holmes.

See also:

30 Sep 01 | Europe
Romania has no stake in Dracula
09 Jul 01 | Europe
Coming soon - Dracula Land
21 Mar 01 | Scotland
Tourist board stakes Dracula claim
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories