Many of Dracula's characters seem to have grown up as a single child: never do we read about the siblings Jonathan, Mina, Arthur, Quincey, Dr. Seward or Professor Van Helsing may have had. The same applies to Count Dracula: he appears as a solitary character, only accompanied by three "weird sisters" whom he obviously despises. In the Icelandic version, Makt myrkranna, however, the Count tells Harker about his father, his uncle and his cousin; he also has been married three times—although these spouses have died already when the young lawyer arrives in Transylvania. On the side of the vampire hunters, Arthur Holmwood has a sister now, named Mary. In the course of the story, we learn that she has married a mysterious diplomat, against the will of her family. Soon after the marriage, the couple relocates to Constantinople (Istanbul), where her husband has a diplomatic position.
This story reminded me of that of Mary Singleton (1843-1905), who wrote under the pen name "Violet Fane." In London circles, she was known for her beauty and witty conversation. She played a prominent role as the unhappily married Mrs. Sinclair in W.H. Mallock’s roman à clef, named The New Republic (1877). Mary Singleton was unhappily married indeed: after being rejected by her lover, she married the elderly Henry Sydenham Singleton, but in the early 1880s exchanged secret vows with Philip Lord Currie of the Foreign office, and also had an affair with Philip’s cousin. In well-informed circles, to which also Stoker belonged, her liaison with Sir Philip became a public secret—especially as she hinted at her luckless situation in The Edwin and Angelina Papers and in her novel The Adventures of a Savage (1881). The latter dealt with a young woman bored with her elder husband and betraying him with a younger lover; the story had a happy ending when the “old squire” died and the heroine was reunited with her “young squire.” Appropriately, Henry S. Singleton died in March 1893 and within ten months, Mary had married Sir Philip Currie, the newly appointed Ambassador to Constantinople. The couple moved to Constantinople only a few days after their wedding.
The parallel with the Icelandic text may very well have been a coincidence—but what a rare one! Apart from the possible connection with Mary Holmwood, we should
note that "Singleton" is the surname name Stoker used in his notes for a psychic agent, Alfred Singleton.