Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen. David J. Skal.

Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen

New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1990.

First Edition. Hardcover. Signed and inscribed by David J. Skal to previous owner and dated 1994 to title page. 10 1/4" X 81/2". 242pp. Stated first edition, with full number line indicating first printing. Mild edgewear to pictorial dust jacket, with bumping to extremities. Black cloth over boards, with spine lettered in silver. Mild edgewear to binding, with some bumping to head and tail of spine, scuffing to boards, and slight lean to spine. Binding is sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. A presentable first printing of this authoritative guide to all of Dracula's incarnations by David J. Skal, signed by the author himself.

Dracula lives! And in this cobwebby excursion through the life of a cultural icon, we follow the archetypal vampire's relentless trajectory from literary oddity to a master media myth of the twentieth century.

Here is an irreverently entertaining, authoritative guide to all of Dracula's incarnations, from Victorian sex nightmare and 1920s stage villain to Hollywood movie legend and modern-day cuddle toy. We learn how the poet Lord Byron helped create the nineteenth century's fascination with vampires, and how he himself served as the thinly-disguised original for the romantic antihero of a best-selling thriller. We see how writer Bram Stoker became enmeshed, half-comprehendingly, in the thickening cultural metaphors of vampirism in fin-de-siecle London, perhaps drawing some inspiration from his domineering employer, the charismatic actor-manager Sir Henry Irving. Here too is the story of Florence Stoker, Bram's widow (a legendary beauty to whom the young Oscar Wilde proposed marriage) as she seeks to destroy every print of F.W. Murnau's now-classic film Nosferatu because it violates the Draculacopyright.

Florence Stoker leads us, through a labyrinth of embattled, often absurd negotiations for the stage and screen rights with such figures as the flamboyant publisher-producer-libertine Horace Liveright, to Dracula's first Hollywood appearance in the 1931 film that made Bela Lugosi world-famous while typecasting him in poorly-paid horror-movie roles. We see the making of that unforgettable film by the troubled, alcoholic director Tod Browning and we discover an unexpected treasure, a Spanish-language version of the movie--not only more erotic but more faithful to the spirit of the novel--that was shot on the same sets at night by and entirely different cast and crew. And much more.

Illustrated with rare photos,Hollywood Gothic is a full-blooded midnight snack for every connoisseur of the cultural history of the macabre. (publisher). Good + / good +. Item #6200
ISBN: 0393029042

Price: $35.00