After enjoying a mini-group read of Dracula here on BGO I saw this Bram Stoker book described as ‘The Mother of all Mummy Stories’ and thought it worth trying. It turned out to be strange and rather hard going.
An Egyptologist raids the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Queen, Tera, who may have reigned as a man and a woman and possibly practised black magic. He brings most of the contents including the Mummy, a mummified cat and a fabulous jewel back to England and has them arrayed around his bedroom. He leaves a list of instructions to be carried out, in the event of anything happening to him. Naturally, something does happen to him and it is up to his daughter, her young barrister admirer, father’s old friend and the local doctor to sort things out. Cast list sound familiar, Victorian novel readers?
The story is told in first person narrative by the barrister. The other characters are not really described in any depth and it takes a long time to reach any action. First, the tale of the Egyptian adventures are trawled through, later we are lectured on hieroglyphics, which without illustration is impossible to comprehend, and a strange theory about different light is expounded.
The version I read had a vaguely disturbing ending so I looked for more information and discovered that Bram Stoker had originally written a different ending and had been asked to change it later by the publishers so I read the original version as well.
I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but both versions are available here free.
Note to mods - this was published in 1903 but may fit better in pre-1900 where Dracula is discussed. Please change if necessary.
Here's an idea - not necessarily a good one - for those of us lucky enough to have access to Sky TV, Sky Living is broadcasting a series called Dracula starting on All Hallow's Eve (31 October). I have not read the book and wondered if anybody would like to join me in a 'flash' group read of the novel in time for the start of the series?