During the years, a most pleasant cooperation developed with Anthony Hogg, who won the Lord Ruthven Award 2017 for his online magazine Vamped.org, and with Adrien Party, who publishes a similar high-quality magazine at Vampirisme.com. In both magazines, I published significant research essays, always with the ink still wet. Despite the "on the fly publishing," they contain some milestones in Dracula Studies.
These articles appeared between May 2016 and August 2018. Three times I had the honor to provide the leading essay for Word Dracula Day, for the issues of 26 May 2016, 2017 and 2018. For 2018, I even provided two essays: one on the identity of Professor van Helsing, and one on the origins of the Swedish preface to Mörkrets makter. All issues are still avaible on Vamped.org, but it does not hurt to have an extra copy available; for some articles, I created updated versions, with improved lay-out and a few typos corrected.
This paper shows how McNally and Florescu not only mistranslated a medieval poem by Michael Beheim, but at the time of writing had access to the correct rendering created by their research partner Matei Cazacu, With their trick, they fooled a more than one generation of Dracula scholars. In "A Day in the Field," I demonstrate that Florescu also lied in his In Search of Frankenstein (see below). Published on 26 May 2016 as World Dracula Day special.
While browsing for early comments on the publication of Dracula, I happened to find the first US serialization known so far - a newspaper publication which savvy experts had been searching for for decades. It appeared in the Chicago Inter Ocean of Spring 1899, just before the Swedish serialization of June. This report presents Bram Stoker's long-year relationship with the "Windy City"
Published on 26 May 2017 as World Dracula Day special.
After Richard Berghorn had alerted me about Mörkrets makter, the Swedish adapatation of Dracula, I was curious to find out who was hiding between "A-e," the pseudonym of the translator or editor. I published my findings at Vampirisme.com, at the Dutch Magazine T'isfris, and in a bulletin issued by the Transilvania University of Brașov.
To collect all results in a concise format, I created this overview that was released by Vamped.org on 26 March 2018.
Already in 2012, just after my Ultimate Dracula had been released, I took a look into the identity of Prof. Van Helsing, one of the most persistent secrets of Stoker's novel. A promising hint led me to two Amsterdam psychiatrists , who ran an internationally famous clinic for hypnotic treatment. Despite intense research, I could find no direct connection, though. What I did find, though, were hitherto undiscussed materials about Stoker's connection with Prof. Max Müller. An interesting insight into the emerging role of hypnosis during the Victorian Age. Published on 26 May 2018 as World Dracula Day special.
After four years of tenacious research on the Icelandic and Swedish variants of Dracula, especially of the famous "Icelandic preface" as first published by Dalby, I established that the so-called extended Icelandic foreword was a shortened translation of the Swedish one, and that various phrases omitted by Valdimar Ásmunddson had been copied from the memoirs of a Stockholm pastor, published in March 1899, just three months before the Swedish serialization in Dagen started. This cast a new light on the question whether Stoker ever had been involved in the Nordic modified versions. Published on 26 May 2018 as World Dracula Day special.
These articles all appeared in spring 2017, when hell broke loose about the link between Makt myrkranna and Mörkrets makter, and a non-compete clause in my publishing contract seemed to block any public comment from my side—at least, in English language. As a work-around, I had three articles published in French, in Adrien Party's Vampirisme.com, and one in Dutch, in the Dutch literary magazine T'is Fris. Below, you will find the three English texts that Adrien Party translated to French.
In this first interview with Vampirisme.com, I explained how the buzz around Powers of Darkness had triggered a new discovery: the link between the Icelandic and the Swedish version. This text also explains some of the riddles of the icelandic text, which now could be solved by comparing these confusing phrases to the Swedish. A fascinating text with details you won't find elsewhere,
A second interview was published only five days later, after I had started to suspect that behind the pseudonym "A-e," the Swedish journalist Albert Anders Andersson-Edenberg had been hiding. This interview contains a mass of interesting details on Andersson-Edenberg; when the text was ready, I found out that he had used "A-e" to sign his articles in Svensk Familj-Journalen.
I published this short article in Vampirisme.com under my own name; it was translated to French by Adrien Party. Its purpose was to launch the scoop of my discovery of the earliest American seriallization of Dracula in the Chicago newspaper Inter Ocean, May-June 1899. It was followed up by a more detailed article in English for the Word Dracula Day issue of Vamped.org.
On 26 April, I had a further talk with Adrien. I had just discovered a number of parallels between scenes and phrases in Mörkrets makter on the one hand, Andersson-Edenberg articles for Svensk-Familj-Journalen on the other hand. Interesting enough to create a further text in interview form, that was released on 20 April 2017. Here again the underlying English text.
Below, you will find five more publications that all were related to the sudden appearance of Mörkrets makter, my discussion with Rickard Berghorn of March 2017, and with the identity of the Swedish translator/editor.
On 2 March 2017, I returned from a trip to Asia and found Berghorn's message of 17 February , pointing to Mörkrets makter and its link with the Icelandic Dracula. I decided to help him launch his discovery and created this bulletin. As you will see, Berghorn stated that the Swedish version is longer than Dracula, not shorter; only a few days later, when I received scans from Stockholm, I was able to solve this conundrum.
Directly after the COTN Bulletin had been published, I had a conversation with Anna Margrét Björnsson of Iceland Monitor, who had interviewed me in February. She decided to set up an article, for which I provided a number of statements and illustrations. I confirmed the link with Mörkrets makter and announced further research to answer the questions I had worded about Makt myrkranna, now with respect to the Swedish version of Dracula.
After having place three interviews in Vampirisme.com , I unearthed still more parallels between the text of Mörkrets makter and articles that Anders Albert Andersson-Edenberg had written for Svensk Familj-Journalen, or examined in his function as editor-in-chief of this magazine. A friend in Amsterdam - a literary sleuth herself - helped me out with another instant publication. There is no English draft for this text.
In March 2017, Florin Nechita invited me to write an article for the Philological Bulletin of the Transilvania Society of Brașov. As I was just trying to get a clear sight of the making of Mörkrets makter, I produced a text on this issue, dedicating fresh research to the morphology of the two seriazations of 1899-1900. I established, among others, that in both publications, the Transylvanian part must have been printed from the same print stock. I submitted my article on 21 April 2017, but the magazine was only published in October 2017.
In November 2017, Rickard Berghorn published a critique of my article in the Philogical Bulletin. As most academic articles are never read and commented on at all, I always welcome a critical review. In this case, however, I felt that Berghorn's reading had been sloppy; in various points, his critique was less accurate than I would have hoped for. To set things straight, I wrote a replique and on 20 December posted the PDF in the same Facebook group where he had launched his critique, a copy of which has been included in this PDF file.
In some of my essays, I do not deal with Stoker's novel directly: In these two works, I address geographic and cartographic issues that support Dracula scholarship in an indirect way.
After publishing on the trick professors McNally and Florescu had pulled on their readers by tampering with the translation of Michael Beheim's poem , I was curious to check whether Florescu had committed a similar fraud in his book In Search of Frankenstein (1975), dealing with an alleged visit of Mary Wollstonecraft and Percy Shelly to Castle Frankenstein near the Rhine. In this book, Florescu claimed that from the outskirts of Gernsheim on the borders of the Rhine, he and his companions could "easily discern, even with the naked eye, the sinister silhuette of the two chief towers of Castle Frankenstein, profiled against the horizon and dominating the hill."
As already noticed by other photographers, this is completely impossible, unless Florescu's eyes had a three times higher seeing power than is known for human beings. With my interns Dian and Yofina, I spent a sunny day in and around Gernsheim, making photos with the Hasselblad D3 39 MP ii and the Nikon D90 under optimal conditions. I posted the annotated photos in an album on my Facebook
page, on 23 June 2016.
Already in 2011, when I studied the old Habsburg military maps of the Borgo Pass region, I noticed a special pathway leading from the Pass to the Călimani caldera, that is, in the direction of the site of Castle Dracula as imagined by Bram Stoker himself. This Via maria Theresia was created by the Austrians to supply their watchposts on the border with Moldavia with ammunition and provisions. In later summer 2014, after I attended the reopning of the Via Maria Theresi with a marathon event, I took the time to compare the restored route to the path as indicated on the First and the Second Military Survey and georeference the older maps to the more recent ones.