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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 1 Apr 2023 20:44:36 +0000
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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MARK DAWIDZIAK <[log in to unmask]>
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 Scott,Happy hunting. There have been five major biographies of Stoker published since 1962, and the combined information on Burton does not amount to much. You've already found the best Stoker-centric reference in the two-volume "Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving." Although Stoker's tribute to the actor (who also admired Twain), it's also the closest thing he wrote to a memoir. Seeking information from the Stoker side can be terribly limiting and frustrating, Always the soul of discretion, the ever-loyal Stoker never betrayed confidences in life or in his writing. Admirable, but he always ends up telling us less than half of what we want to know. The five Stoker biographies are:"A Biography of Dracula: The Life of Bram Stoker" (1962) by Harry Ludlum"The Man Who Wrote Dracula: A Biography of Bram Stoker" (1975) by Daniel Farson (Farson was a great nephew and television interviewer and this is the most sensational of the five, but it makes only two references to Burton, both in passing)"Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula" (1996) by Barbara Belford (Belford goes into some detail on the friendship with Twain, but only makes three references to Burton)"From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker" (2004) by Paul Murray"Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, The Man Who Wrote Dracula" (2016) by David J. Skal, who also only makes two references to Burton, even though this is the most extensive of the biographies)If anything of significance about Burton has surfaced since the Skal biography was published, the person who might know is Dacre Stoker, an American great-grandnephew who has become increasingly active in research and gatherings devoted to his famous relative. Dacre is active on Facebook and can be messaged that way, if you're so inclined.But if anything were to surface regarding Twain-Burton-Stoker, my guess is that it will surface on the Twain side.

    On Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 03:05:20 PM EDT, Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:  
 Thanks for the reference, Barbara.  I found a copy on Abe Books along 
with another bio of Stoker, "Something in the Blood".

On 4/1/23 11:48, Barbara Schmidt wrote:
> 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
> typesetter.
> Barb
> 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/
/Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/