It happened in the summer of 1890, when the towering Irish writer Bram Stoker first came to the town coastal of Withby, in Yorkshire, England, with the story of the Earl Dracula hovering in his head. Suffered manager of the Lyceum Theater From London, Stoker needed a beach break with his wife Florence Balcombe and son Noel. But while these two bathed in the sea and looked out over the cliffs, our writer spent his hours at the local bookstore, today a popular restaurant from fish and chips and in the mysterious ruined medieval abbey atop the town. Also in his cemetery.
This is how Count Wampyr (the first name that had occurred to the Irishman) became Dracula, the prince of Wallachia belonging to the Order of the Dragon who was dedicated to impaling his enemies as a show of power. And so it was, and here in the Whitby library, reading a book called An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldova, when Transylvania, in present-day Romania, was forever transformed into the origin and destination of all horror legends.
And the fact is that a large part of the novel, which Coppola took so masterfully a century later to the cinema, takes place in this little town where the Count disembarks, something that Stoker copied from a local story. It turns out that a name ship Dimitri (Does that sound familiar?) It ran aground on these shores 5 years before the arrival of the Irishman. Impossible that it is a coincidence. On these wild shores it is perfectly feasible that Gary Oldman (aka Dracula) embodied the longest love story in literature (immortality compels).
It also appears that many of the names of the characters in the story were drawn by Stoker from the twisted stone graves in the local cemetery., in which he spent hours sitting on a stone bench where Mina Murray would later meet Dracula. “I have crossed oceans of time to find you.” And also: “Do you believe in fate? That even the powers of time can be altered for a purpose? That the luckiest man in this world is the one who finds true love?” Could anyone resist?
Horror lovers who want to get close to this not-too-accessible part of the English coast is important to know that Stoker’s library is now the Quayside Fish and Chip Restaurant, that the writer slept in a house in the 6 Royal Crescent from the village, that in the cemetery (St Marys Churchyard) the place where Bram sat is marked, that the 11th century Abbey in ruins, with the sound of starlings in the background, is one of the most incredible places in the world open to the public day and night, and that down the 199 steps of the church you reach the harbor and the best views of Whitby.
If we also mix the accent and the dialect of this part of the United Kingdom (which Stoker captured so well) with the wonderful soundtrack of Coppola’s film and the noise of the seagulls, we can perfectly move to a fictional story that many believe ( Who can judge them?) That has some truth. “Despair has its own calm.” And so much.