English Translation Published of Swedish Dracula—Is It a Lost Stoker Manuscript?

I am thrilled to announce the greatly anticipated publication of the Swedish version of Dracula in an English translation. In my opinion, this is the greatest literary event of the twenty-first century, or at the very least, the greatest literary mystery of our time.

The cover of Powers of Darkness reflects the mysterious female counterpart to Dracula in the novel.

Several years ago, I blogged here about the publication of the Icelandic version of Dracula, translated into English as Powers of Darkness. Not long after, it was discovered that another version of Dracula existed in Sweden and the Icelandic version was actually an abridged version of the Swedish translation of Dracula. More surprising is that the Swedish version is significantly longer than Dracula, with the scenes in Dracula’s Castle being much more extensive and shocking. The scenes in England are also significantly different, perhaps most fascinating because they reveal that Dracula is not singlehandedly trying to invade England, but rather he is at the head of an international conspiracy of world leaders to achieve global domination. I won’t say a lot more because I don’t want to spoil anyone’s reading pleasure, other than to warn that Dracula lovers need to prepare to have their minds blown by this Swedish version.

Many questions still exist about the Swedish Powers of Darkness. It seems likely to be an earlier version of Dracula that somehow made its way to Sweden and was published there. How it got to Sweden remains unknown. Nor do we know if Bram Stoker had a hand in it. Dracula was published in 1897 while the Swedish Powers of Darkness was serialized in 1899-1900. The Swedish version contains some references to events that happened in the intervening years between publications. Did Stoker prefer his earlier version, update it, and send it to Sweden? Or did the Swedish translator decide to make a few tweaks to Stoker’s earlier manuscript before publishing it? Or did the Swedish translator just decide to completely rewrite Dracula to suit his own tastes? All of these questions remain unanswered, but readers of Powers of Darkness can draw their own conclusions upon reading it.

This first publication in English includes the fully translated text of the original novel published in Sweden. It also includes numerous illustrations that were originally made for that publication. Plus, I am pleased to announce it contains introductory essays, including one by myself. I feel highly honored to be part of this august event. The introductory essays include an “Editor’s Preface” by Will Trimble, who sponsored the translation into English, “Dracula’s Way to Sweden—Revisited” by Hans Corneel de Roos, who first discovered and translated the Icelandic Powers of Darkness, “Romania and Racism in the Swedish Draculaby Tyler R. Tichelaar, and “Powers of Darkness Is an Important Addition to Dracula Lore Despite Heightened Xenophobia, White Supremacy, and Romaphobia” by Sezin Koehler. Each essay explores the differences between the texts and the virtues and flaws of the Swedish version compared to the original Dracula. In fact, don’t be surprised if you come away feeling that the Swedish Powers of Darkness is even superior to Dracula.

You can purchase the book online only as an ebook at this time. The full title to search for is Powers of Darkness: the wild translation of Dracula from turn-of-the-century Sweden.

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other sites.

I hope you enjoy reading Powers of Darkness. Trust me, you will never think of Dracula in the same way again.

An illustration from the Swedish Powers of Darkness showing Count Draculitz meeting with his followers.

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Tyler Tichelaar, PhD, is the author of King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition, The Gothic Wanderer: From Transgression to Redemption, The Children of Arthur historical fantasy series, Haunted Marquette: Ghost Stories from the Queen City, and many other titles. Visit Tyler at www.GothicWanderer.com, www.ChildrenofArthur.com, and www.MarquetteFiction.com.

7 Comments

Filed under Classic Gothic Novels, Dracula

7 responses to “English Translation Published of Swedish Dracula—Is It a Lost Stoker Manuscript?

  1. ellenandjim

    Warm congratulations, Tyler, on having your essay be one of the introductory essays. An international conspiracy certainly changes the whole tenor of the Dracula we know which is about solitary individuals — the emphasis, unless I misread, is on a solitary vampire, solitary secretary, the wife is just her, the doctor. All subjective narratives. I’m not an expert on Dracula movies, and especially more recent ones and the contemporary male gothic, vampire violent-style ones, but I recall movies were this idea of a conspiracy and
    a sense of networked vampire terror is part of the paranoid feel of the experience.

    That’s a creepy picture on the cover — to me — and fits very well the recent way vampire and Dracula tales are realized. Especially the broken teeth and the mouth and that purply color …. The figure looks female — maybe meant to be non-binary?

    Ellen

  2. Leon

    What is the probability that this is not a fake? It is possible that during the translation they decided to redo the text – this is not uncommon.

    • I really don’t think it’s a fake. Too many similarities between it and notes Stoker made for the novel. Likely the translator did decide to make changes based on his own preferences, but the bulk of it is Stoker’s work.

  3. Why is this any more interesting than, say, Marv Wolfman’s “Tomb of Dracula” comics? There is no evidence that Stoker had anything to do with this translation, and so it constitutes nothing more (or less) than another author’s adaptation of Stoker’s work.

    • Thanks for the comment, Leslie. I’m becoming more inclined to think you are right, that it is another author’s adaptation, but if so, it must have been done by a masterly writer. Still, there are things in it that are in Stoker’s working notes but not in Dracula that suggest his notes somehow may have influenced the translator. There are just too many questions unanswered yet in my opinion to decide either way.

  4. Pingback: 928 Turkish Version of Dracula First to Equate Count with Vlad Tepes | The Gothic Wanderer

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