Swedish preface written by a pastor?

Pastor Bernhard Wadström and his print collection of portraits
Pastor Bernhard Wadström and his print collection of portraits

After searching for authorial clues in the preface to Makt myrkranna for three years, I shifted my focus  to the Swedish preface, first published in Dagen on 10 June 1899.


In May 2018, I found out that large parts of the preface to Mörkrets makter were almost literally copied from the memoirs of a Lutheran pastor, Bernhard Wadstörm, who administered the Stockholm Klara parish where Andersson-Edenberg had originally settled when arriving in the Swedish capital with his family. Although Bernhard Wadström  had problems with speaking for a larger audience, he made himself a name by many pious publications and by advising the Swedish royal family in religious questions. In the late 1890s, he published his memoirs, which appeared in separate installments or booklets.


Once I had unearthed the text of these memoirs, it was easy to demonstrate that complete sentences from the Swedish preface—especially in the part left out in the Icelandic version—had been copied  from Wadström's booklet released in March 1899. Furthermore, I could identify various elements in the main text of Mörkrets makter that seemed to be inspired by these memoirs, such as the appearance of a "White Lady" and the viewing of a fiery sky from a gallery placed on the top floor.


Although we probably never be sure about this, I think it is highly improbable that Bram Stoker himself would have inserted such elements from a Swedish publication, as he could not understand this language. I also believe it is implausible that he willingly would have consented to such a plagiarism. The evident parallels between the two texts raise severe doubts whether the Irishman ever was aware of the Swedish serializations; we should be open to the possibility that Mörkrets makter was a piracy production, only loosely based on Stoker's book. Professional writers such as Andersson-Edenberg certainly had the abilities and the background knowledge to create their own take on Dracula, with the same—or even higher—literary qualities.