Dracula by Bram Stoker: Thoughts on Chapter 8

Reading Time: 2 minutes

DAVID SAUNDERSON continues counting down the days until his Transylvanian holiday by reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. Today, he discusses Chapter 8! 

Dracula is all about correspondence. It is very business like, no doubt because of Bram Stoker’s real life job as a business manager.
The administration side of Stoker’s personality is seen in chapters like Chapter 8 of Dracula with the correspondence between two lawyers discussing the shipment of Dracula’s containers from Whitby to Carfax Abbey – the Count’s new London home.

One could just said “And the containers were shipped from Whitby to London”. But by going into minute details it makes the book sound real, like this really did happen, which is important in a fantasy book like Dracula.

We discover in this chapter that Jonathon Harker has turned up in a Hungarian hospital in Budapest, suffering from brain fever. (According to Wikipedia, brain fever is a general term for a life-threatening illness brought on by emotional strain.) On hearing that her beloved Jonathon is unwell and needs her, Mina gets ready to go off to Hungary. When she gets there, she plans to marry him.

Dr Seward’s notes are also included in this chapter telling of mental patient Renfield’s continuing and increasingly violent antics. This time, Seward lets Renfield escape so they can follow him. They discover him pressed up against Carfax Abbey, calling out to his ‘master’, promising obedience. Renfield is returned to his cell and tells his ‘master’ that he shall be patient. What the heck is going on?

Tom Waits as Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula
Tom Waits as Renfield in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

What I’ve learned from this chapter: Dracula’s cases arrive in London via King’s Cross Station. Everyone gets excited about Harry Potter’s Platform 9 and 3/4 – but I think the Dracula connection is even cooler!

Favourite Quote: “I am here to do your bidding, Master. I am your slave, and you will reward me, for I shall be faithful.” Renfield sounding rather needy.


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