Dracula.New York, Doubleday & McClure Co., 1899 Stock Code: 121627
NotesFirst U.S. edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "Lady Errington from Bram Stoker 31.05.08". Lady Frances Helena Errington (d. c.1935) was the wife of Sir George Errington (1839-1920), 1st baronet, Dublin-born MP for Longford (1874-1885), High Sheriff of Tipperary (1888) and Wexford (1901). Errington was a prominent Home Ruler and "was sent to Rome by Mr Gladstone in the early 'eighties on 'a mission that was not a mission' to inform the Vatican on the subject of the Nationalist movement in Ireland" (The Catholic Who's Who and Year-Book 1908). We know from passenger lists that Lady Errington visited California during this period and may have purchased this copy of Stoker's classic novel at that time.
This is a strong Irish association: Stoker was born at Clontarf, Dublin. He was also, like Errington, a supporter of Home Rule, mentioning this in his biography of Sir Henry Irving: "Those were early days in the Home Rule movement the 1880s, and as a believer in it Irving was always chafing me about it" (Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, 1907, p. 218). The Irish element in Dracula has often been alluded to: "In 1890 Stoker began to make notes for a Gothic adventure story about Englishmen who safeguard their country by tracking down and killing a foreign invader, a Hungarian vampire. Complex and highly symbolic, the plot illustrated his fears about a world approaching a new century, about the unspeakable things which could happen to ordinary people, and about male insecurity and the dangers of subservience to another person. More Irish than Transylvanian, Count Dracula embodies the Celtic phenomenon known as 'shape shifting', the ability to become anythinga wolf, bat, rat, or swirling mist. Stoker was familiar with Irish folklore" (ibid.).
Inscribed copies of the American first edition, published two years after the original London edition, are decidedly uncommon.
Octavo. Original tan cloth stamped in blue, gilt, and olive with a design of Dracula's mountaintop castle on the front cover, untrimmed. Housed in a red quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Binding somewhat stained and showing general signs of handling, inner joints cracked but quite firm, internally some soiling, a few leaves dog-eared.
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