Wakefield link with Bram Stoker’s tale of Whitby Dracula

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo reproduced with permission from www.findmypast.ie of Dracula author Bram Stoker. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 16, 2012. Bram Stoker was inspired by his chieftain ancestor and not the blood-thirsty Vlad the Impaler for the vampire novel, it has been claimed. Historian Fiona Fitzsimons has studied the Dublin-born author's family tree and found he was a descendant of Manus "the Magnificent" O'Donnell - an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century. See PA story ARTS Dracula Ireland. Photo credit should read: www.findmypast.ie/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo reproduced with permission from www.findmypast.ie of Dracula author Bram Stoker. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 16, 2012. Bram Stoker was inspired by his chieftain ancestor and not the blood-thirsty Vlad the Impaler for the vampire novel, it has been claimed. Historian Fiona Fitzsimons has studied the Dublin-born author's family tree and found he was a descendant of Manus "the Magnificent" O'Donnell - an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century. See PA story ARTS Dracula Ireland. Photo credit should read: www.findmypast.ie/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
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A West Yorkshire link with Whitby’s tale of Dracula by Bram Stoker has been highlighted on national radio.

Dublin-born Stoker relied on a number of sources for his 1897 novel, including Whitby Gazette reports of the Russian ship the Dmitry of Narva crashing ashore at Whitby, re-titling it the Demeter of Varna.

The author, who stayed at Royal Crescent where a plaque unveiled by the Gazette marks the property, also acknowledged using a number of books on apparitions, medieval folklore, superstitions and tales from places such as Transylvania.

A programme on BBC Radio 5 Live has now referred the vampire story connection with the popular village of Horbury, near Ossett in Wakefield, where vicar and writer Sabine Baring-Gould was a curate in the 1860s.

Baring-Gould became famous for writing the hymn Onward, Christian Soldiers and for a relationship with a mill girl half his age whom he later married. A contributor to the radio show said that Stoker used Baring-Gould’s The Book of Werewolves (1865) about blood lust in ancient, medieval and Victorian times, as well as the church man’s books, the Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (1877) and Germany, Present and Past (1879).

“I also got something from Baring-Gould,” said Stoker who acknowledged the link.

Stoker, who came to Whitby with his family, also visited the rooms of the Literary and Philosophical Society to use their archives in his research.