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Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 1 Apr 2023 13:48:12 -0500
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One resource that may be of interest is BRAM STOKER AND THE MAN WHO WAS
DRACULA by Barbara Belford (2002). She examines Stoker's relationship with
both Twain and Burton. No quotes from letters from Stoker to Twain
regarding Burton, but the details she covers indicate there were plenty of
opportunities for discussion. Stoker was even an investor in the Paige


On Sat, Apr 1, 2023 at 12:17 PM Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Some of you are, no doubt, aware of my interest in finding commonality
> between Richard Francis Burton and Mark Twain. The closest I’ve come has
> been to compare their respective journeys across North America; Burton
> in 1860 and Sam Clemens in 1861. Other points include their interest in
> the Arabian Nights and both men had visited Baalbek. An additional point
> has recently come to my attention, that of friendship with Bram Stoker,
> the author of “Dracula” and acting manager of the renowned actor Sir
> Henry Irving.
> Another book that Stoker wrote was “Personal Reminiscences of Henry
> Irving”. It has an entire chapter regarding his introduction to and
> conversations with Richard F. Burton. Some descriptions of Burton are
> thought to point directly to descriptions of Count Dracula. Of
> particular interest in regards to Burton’s character was an incident
> that occurred during Burton’s pilgrimage to Mecca. Gribben’s volume 2 of
> Literary Resources lists Burton’s “Personal Narrative of the Pilgrimage
> to El-Medinah and Mecca” as being signed by Twain, no dates mentioned. I
> would suggest that it was Stoker that suggested this book to Twain.
> In regards to Count Dracula, it has been noted that there exists a
> striking similarity between a remark made by Van Helsing, in the book,
> and an entry from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar (Following the
> Equator, Chapter 12). Van Helsing says “I heard once of an American who
> so defined faith: “that which enables us to believe things which we know
> to be untrue.”” From the calendar “Faith is believing what you know
> ain’t so.”
> Mark Dawidziak gave a talk on Twain and Dracula during the fall portion
> of the 2020-2021//The Trouble Begins //Lecture Series presented by the
> Center for Mark Twain Studies. He speaks of this quotation but also
> notes that Stoker was a frequent visitor with Twain during Twain’s
> self-imposed exile at Tedworth Square, in London, England.
> Other than recommending Burton’s book, I’m curious about any other
> references to Burton that Stoker might have made to Twain, in
> conversation or in letters. Letters of such late date are not available
> as text from the Mark Twain Project but there are several referenced as
> existing.
> --
> /Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/