Best known today as the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker also wrote several other works, including The Jewel of Seven Stars, Lady Athlyne, and The Lair of the White Worm. In his exploration of supernatural subjects, such as vampirism, he is clearly a Gothic writer. The fantastic elements of his novels seem very much at odds with the world of science. Stoker, nonetheless, draws upon a large body of scientific theory and technological innovation throughout his writings. This book studies his blending of Gothic subjects with emerging discoveries in science and technology.
The volume begins with an overview of Stoker's familiarity with scientific and technical developments. It then examines the role of science and technology in his various works, which demonstrate his familiarity with civil engineering, anthropology, physics, chemistry, and archaeology. While many of his writings seem to offer a rather uncritical celebration of science and its applications, some works, such as The Jewel of Seven Stars, reveal what happens when science oversteps its bounds. Stoker emerges as an early writer of science fiction whose work thoughtfully considers the place of science in society.
CAROL A. SENF is Associate Professor of English at Georgia Institute of Technology./e Her previous books include The Critical Response to Bram Stoker (Greenwood, 1993)