The story has been making the rounds. Doubtless you’ve seen the headlines. The London Library in Mayfair has discovered the books that were used by Bram Stoker when he was doing research, working on DRACULA. What blows my mind about this is that those books are still on the shelves, over a hundred years later. The oldest book you’d be likely to find at my local library would date to the 1960s at the earliest. How do they know that those particular books were used by Bram? Because he wrote notes to himself on the pages. Historical vandalism! (Hey, that sounds like a groovy name for an Alternative band.)
Workers at the library believe that Stoker used 28 of their books after he joined the library in 1890. After comparing the pencil marks left in one of those books, THE BOOK OF WEREWOLVES by Sabine Baring-Gould, to Stoker’s personal notes, library director Philip Spedding was inspired to check in others, where he found more cases of Stoker’s writing on the pages. And a copy of AN ACCOUNT OF THE PRINCIPALITIES OF WALLACHIA AND MOLDAVIA by William Wilkinson even has one of the pages dog-eared—the page containing the name “Dracula.”
Bram Stoker cancelled his membership at the London Library in 1897, the year DRACULA was published.