Dracula is an epistolary novel, meaning that is composed from letters, journal and diary entries, telegrams, and newspaper clippings. Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray (later Mina Harker), and Dr. Seward write the largest contributions to the novel‹although the writings of Lucy Westenra and Abraham Van Helsing constitute some key parts of the book. The novel is meant to have a slightly journalistic feel, as it is a harrowing account supposedly written by the people who witnessed the book's events.
A young Englishman named Jonathan Harker travels through Transylvania on a business trip. He is there to aid Count Dracula, a Transylvanian nobleman, in buying an English estate. His journey into the remote Eastern European landscape is fearsome, although initially he is charmed by the Count's generosity and intelligence. Gradually, he comes to realize that he is a prisoner in Dracula's castle, and that the Count is a demonic being who plans to prey on the teeming masses of London. Dracula leaves him to die at the hands of three female vampires, but Jonathan attempts a desperate escape. . .
Meanwhile, in England, Jonathan's fiancée Mina visits her best friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy has recently been proposed to by three men‹Arthur Holmwood, Dr. Seward, andQuincey Morris. She chooses Arthur to be her happy fiancé. Mina and Lucy vacation together at Whitby, a quaint seaside town. While they are there, a Russian vessel is shipwrecked. A large dog leaps from the wreck and runs away. All of its crew are missing save one dead captain. The ship was carrying fifty boxes of earth from Dracula's castle. Despite the wreck, the boxes are delivered as ordered. Lucy begins to exhibit strange behavior: she sleepwalks often, and she seems to be growing paler and weaker. Eerie things happen‹one night, Mina finds her unconscious in the cemetery, as a figure with glowing eyes bends over her. The figure disappears as Mina comes closer, but night after night strange events