Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, spent years researching his book. Among other influences, it was coloured by Le Fanu's Carmilla, which was read to Stoker by Oscar Wilde's mother. In the original notes the castle is not located in Transylvania but in Styria, the setting for Carmilla.

Sir William Wilde, Oscar's father, was a passionate Egyptologist and gave Stoker many of the details about Egyptian culture that appear in The Jewel of the Seven Stars.

Henry Irving, an actor Stoker stage-managed for many years is said to have provided some details of Dracula's character. Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White influenced Minna and Lucy, and may have inspired the graveyard scene (children discover a solitary woman). Minna's name is likely derived from from Monk Lewis' 1816 tale Mina.

Another influence is likely to be Krafft Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis published in 1886. In it are reported many cases of blood related eroticism and vampirism. Dr. Jean Martin Charcot, the famous neurologist whom Freud traveled to Paris to see, is mentioned in Dracula. He is perhaps most vividly associated with the image above.

Dracula has direct quotes from many sources including Coleridge (Ancient Mariner), Bürger (Lenore), Thomas Hood (Death Bed), and Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice).

The description of Lucy in her tomb may owe some of its details to the secret exhumation of Lizzie Siddal Rossetti. Her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, wanted to retrieve the poetry manuscripts he had buried with her. The grave was opened after dark. A large adjacent bonfire lit the scene and, as the bell of nearby St Michael's church chimed midnight, Elizabeth's heavy metal coffin was hauled to the surface. Rossetti, unable to face the ghoulish deed had stayed at home but those who were present gasped as the last screw was removed from the lid and casket opened. Elizabeth looked as if in life, her features so perfectly preserved she seemed to have merely slumbered for the seven years since her interment. Her hair had changed though. The famed auburn locks which grace so many Pre-Raphaelite portraits had lost none of their vibrant colour but, waist length in life, her tresses had continued to grow after death and in the flickering light from the bonfire, looked to fill the coffin. Gingerly the manuscripts were taken from her and, whilst the casket was re-buried, they were disinfected and dried by a doctor and transported to Rossetti. He regretted his actions. Published shortly, the love poems were not the literary success expected and the whole episode haunted Rossetti for the remainder of his short life.

from The Sexton Files

Stoker dedicated Dracula to his friend Hall Caine, a neighbour of the Rossettis and author of Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Stoker was also a long-time correspondent with Walt Whitman and was one of George Eliot's Chelsea neighbours.

Den die Todten reiten schnell

for the dead travel fast
Bürger Lenore, quoted in Dracula

The man riveted my attention. He was dark, and forceful, and masterful and ruthless. I have never seen so iron a countenance... Burton's face seemed to lengthen when he laughed; the upper lip rising instinctively and showing the right canine tooth ... As he spoke the upper lip rose and his canine tooth showed its full length like the gleam of a dagger.

Stoker on Sir Richard Burton, orientalist par excellence, compiler and translator of Indian vampire lore (and the Kama Sutra).

Stoker was also fascinated by Tennyson's teeth, writing: Tennyson had at times that lifting of the upper lip which shows the canine tooth.

Gothic Labyrinth
Gothic Labyrinth