Anno Dracula

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Anno Dracula
Kim Newman - Anno Dracula.jpeg
First edition
AuthorKim Newman
Audio read byWilliam Gaminara
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesAnno Dracula series
GenreAlternate history, Horror
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
1992
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages409 (paperback)
ISBN978-0-380-72345-4
OCLC31220886
Followed byThe Bloody Red Baron 

Anno Dracula is a 1992 novel by British writer Kim Newman, the first in the Anno Dracula series. It is an alternate history using 19th-century English historical settings and personalities, along with characters from popular fiction.

Plot summary[edit]

The interplay between humans who have chosen to "turn" into vampires and those who are "warm" (humans) is the backdrop for the plot which tracks Jack the Ripper's politically charged destruction of vampire prostitutes. The reader is alternately and sympathetically introduced to various points of view. The main characters are Jack the Ripper, and his hunters Charles Beauregard (an agent of the Diogenes Club), and Geneviève Dieudonné, an elder French vampire (a similar version of Dieudonné appeared in Newman's trilogy of novels, written under the pseudonym Jack Yeovil, for the Warhammer Fantasy universe).

Synopsis[edit]

The novel deviates from the events of Bram Stoker's Dracula. In this world, Vlad Tepes killed Abraham Van Helsing, and an injury sustained to Dr. John Seward's hand during a fight with Renfield resulted in Van Helsing's allies lacking the strength to defeat Dracula at the crucial moment. Instead, Dracula killed Quincey Morris and Jonathan Harker and completed Mina Harker's "turning." With no one to oppose him, Dracula creates thousands of British vampires, marries and turns Queen Victoria (acquiring official royal status as "Prince Consort") and ushers in a period of increasing British vampire domination. Dracula is well advanced in imposing a police state in the United Kingdom, where dissenters may be jailed or impaled without trial. Many of the country's leading scientists and intellectuals who choose to stay "warm" (including Sherlock Holmes) are imprisoned in "concentration camps" in the rural counties. The only two survivors of Van Helsing's group are Seward, who now runs a free clinic in Whitechapel, and Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming, who chose to become a vampire and is being groomed as a protégé by the new Prime Minister, Lord Ruthven.

Dieudonné has come down in the world, attending sick vampires in Seward's clinic. When another prostitute is murdered, Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade turns to them for an opinion. Beauregard, an agent of the Diogenes Club, is tasked with hunting down the killer, dubbed "Silver Knife" by the public, until an anonymous letter is delivered identifying him as "Jack the Ripper." The victim's inquest is attended by Lestrade, Dieudonné, and Beauregard, along with Captain Kostaki (an officer in Dracula's Carpathian Guard), and Dr. Henry Jekyll. Each sets out independently, with differing agendas. Separately, Lord Godalming is also tasked by Lord Ruthven with heading an unofficial investigation to catch the killer.

Beauregard is abducted by an old enemy, a Tong leader who calls a truce on the understanding that the London underworld also has a strong interest in Silver Knife's capture. His official duties also open a rift between him and his fiancée, Penelope Churchward (a cousin of his deceased first wife). In her zeal for social climbing, Penny also urges Beauregard to agree that both of them will become vampires after their marriage.

Jack the Ripper strikes twice, failing to destroy one of his victims, Elizabeth Stride, who is brought to the clinic. Attempting to heal her wounds by shapeshifting, Stride does it imperfectly, lunging at Seward in her agony before dying. The implication is lost on Dieudonné and Beauregard, none of whom know that Seward, driven insane with grief over the loss of his love, Lucy Westenra, has taken to hunting vampires on his own. His murderous activities abate, temporarily, when he becomes infatuated with another prostitute, Mary Jane Kelly, who greatly resembles Lucy.

During a temporary lull in the killings, Beauregard and Dieudonné, having similar ideas, become closer, while Penny is increasingly annoyed at Beauregard's lack of attention. In her haste, she allows Godalming to "turn" her, but the transformation is imperfect, and Penny almost dies, before being nursed back to health by Beauregard with Dieudonné's help. Repulsed by the creature Penny has become, Beauregard ends their engagement and he and Dieudonné become lovers.

Public unrest escalates, with unclear causes. An anti-vampire leader is shot, and another of the Carpathian Guard is blown up with dynamite, both perhaps by the same mysterious vampire. Captain Kostaki and Scotland Yard Inspector Mackenzie form an unlikely alliance to find the culprit, but the mysterious vampire ambushes them, killing Mackenzie and disabling Kostaki with a silver bullet to his knee. Framed for Mackenzie's murder, Kostaki is imprisoned in the Tower of London, under the control of Graf Orlok. Lord Godalming questions Kostaki in secret, believing he has identified the Ripper as Sergeant Dravot, a vampire agent of the Diogenes Club. Eager to claim the credit for himself, Godalming leaves Kostaki to be condemned for Mackenzie's death. While following Dravot, alone, Godalming is aggravated by a "chance" meeting with his old friend, Seward, not realizing until too late that Seward is the real Ripper, who believes Godalming betrayed him and Lucy by becoming a vampire.

Beauregard and Dieudonné both realize that Seward is the Ripper. They race to Whitechapel and apprehend him, but not before he has killed both Kelly and Godalming. They leave the murder scene with Seward in custody, but then encounter Dravot, who admits to acting on the Diogenes Club's orders. These orders required him to kill Mackenzie, foment the riots, and stand by as Seward butchered Mary Jane Kelly. These orders also require there to be, officially, two Rippers: Seward and Godalming were working together before they fell out and Seward killed the other. Beauregard and Dieudonné are equally disgusted. When Seward points out that Dracula will turn him into a vampire so he can be tortured for all eternity, Beauregard kills him out of mercy.

When Beauregard confronts his superiors at the Diogenes Club, he asks why he was assigned to the case at all, since Dravot did all the actual work. He is told that Dravot, a vampire, could not be given the official credit for solving the murders, and it is necessary for Beauregard to carry out the final step of the plan.

Beauregard soon understands what this means when he and Dieudonné are invited to Buckingham Palace to be officially thanked by Queen Victoria for their role in catching the Ripper. Inside the palace, the two lovers confront Count Dracula, holding the turned Victoria as a prisoner. Knowing that neither of them can defeat Dracula in direct combat, Beauregard slips Seward's silver scalpel to Victoria, allowing her to kill herself, thus depriving Dracula of his status as Prince Consort and his legal authority over Great Britain. Before the vampires can retaliate, a riot breaks loose outside the Palace – possibly orchestrated by the Club - and spills inside, allowing Beauregard and Dieudonné to escape and forcing Dracula to flee the country.

Characters[edit]

Public domain depictions of some of the main characters used in
Anno Dracula

Newman incorporated numerous figures from popular fiction (due to the historical period, many are from works in the public domain).

Main characters[edit]

Character Creator Origin
Charles Beauregard Kim Newman Original
Penelope Churchward Kim Newman Original
Vlad Tepes, Count Dracula Bram Stoker Dracula
Daniel Dravot Rudyard Kipling The Man Who Would Be King
Mycroft Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Kostaki Alexandre Dumas The Pale Lady
Inspector Lestrade Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet
Lord Ruthven John William Polidori The Vampyre
Kate Reed Bram Stoker Early draft of Dracula
John Seward Bram Stoker Dracula
Arthur Holmwood Bram Stoker Dracula
Geneviève Dieudonné Kim Newman Drachenfels
Count Vardalek Count Stenbock The True Story of a Vampire
Inspector Mackenzie E.W. Hornung The Amateur Cracksman

Minor characters[edit]

The following characters are only mentioned, or appear only briefly in the novel.

From literature[edit]

Character Creator Origin
Kurt Barlow Stephen King 'Salem's Lot
Brides of Dracula Bram Stoker Dracula
Sir Danvers Carew Robert Louis Stevenson The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Thomas Carnacki William Hope Hodgson Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder
Gunga Din Rudyard Kipling Gunga Din
Soames Forsyte John Galsworthy The Forsyte Saga
Fu Manchu (referred to as 'The Celestial', 'The Doctor', and 'The Lord of Strange Deaths') Sax Rohmer The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu
Griffin H.G. Wells The Invisible Man
Basil Hallward Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mina Harker Bram Stoker Dracula
Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet
Doctor Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Carmilla Karnstein Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Carmilla
Lestat de Lioncourt Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire
Macheath Bertolt Brecht The Threepenny Opera
Admiral Sir Mandeville Messervy (presumed ancestor of Admiral Sir Miles Messervy) Ian Fleming (derived) Original
Sebastian Moran Arthur Conan Doyle The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Doctor Moreau H.G. Wells The Island of Doctor Moreau
Professor Moriarty Arthur Conan Doyle The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Murgatroyds W.S. Gilbert Ruddigore
Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard King Solomon's Mines
Rupert of Hentzau Anthony Hope The Prisoner of Zenda
Bill Sikes Charles Dickens Oliver Twist
Sir Francis Varney James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett Prest Varney the Vampire
Waverly (presumed ancestor of Alexander Waverly) Sam Rolfe, Norman Felton The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (derived)
A. J. Raffles E.W. Hornung The Amateur Cracksman
Dr. Antonio Nikola A Bid for Fortune: or, Dr Nikola's Vendetta
Clayton Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles
Lord John Roxton Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World
Lucy Westenra Bram Stoker Dracula
Abraham Van Helsing Bram Stoker Dracula
Renfield Bram Stoker Dracula
Jonathan Harker Bram Stoker Dracula
Quincey Morris Bram Stoker Dracula
Lulu Schon Frank Wedekind Pandora's Box
Chandagnac Kim Newman Drachenfels
The Old Jago Arthur Morrison A Child of the Jago
Ivan Dragomiloff Jack London The Assassination Bureau, Ltd
Countess Geschwitz Frank Wedekind Pandora's Box
Melissa d'Acques Kim Newman Drachenfels
Count Brastov Charles L. Grant The Soft Whisper of the Dead
Prince Conrad Vulkan Robert R. McCammon They Thirst
Edward Weyland Suzy McKee Charnas The Vampire Tapestry
Baron Karnstein Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Carmilla
Lady Adelina Ducayne M.E. Braddon Good Lady Ducayne
Sarah Kenyon F.G. Loring The Tomb of Sarah
Ethelind Fionguala Ken's Mystery
Countess Dolingen Bram Stoker Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories
The Amahagger H. Rider Haggard She: A History of Adventure
Ezzelin von Klatka Mark Twain The Mysterious Stranger
Madame de la Rougierre Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Uncle Silas
Clarimonde Théophile Gautier La Morte Amoureuse
Martin Hewitt Arthur Morrison Martin Hewitt, Investigator
Max Carrados Ernest Bramah Max Carrados
Augustus Van Dusen Jacques Futrelle The Thinking Machine
Cotford Bram Stoker Early draft of Dracula
Mrs. Warren George Bernard Shaw Mrs. Warren's Profession
Berserker the Dog Bram Stoker Dracula
Louis Bauer Patrick Hamilton Gas Light
Edward Malone The Adventure of the Grinder's Whistle
A Wessex Cup Winner Arthur Conan Doyle The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Mrs. Amworth Mrs. Amworth
Henry Wilcox E. M. Forster Howards End
General Zaroff Richard Connell The Most Dangerous Game

From film or television[edit]

Character Origin
Adam Adamant Adam Adamant Lives!
Baron Meinster The Brides of Dracula
Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows
Elder Chinese Vampire Mr. Vampire
Prince Mamuwalde Blacula
Count Orlok Nosferatu
John Reid The Lone Ranger
Count Von Krolock The Fearless Vampire Killers
Count Yorga Count Yorga, Vampire
Carl Kolchak The Night Stalker
Don Sebastian de Villanueva The Black Castle
The Wurdalak Black Sabbath
Lucian de Terre The Werewolves of London
Count Mitterhouse Vampire Circus
Armand Tesla The Return of the Vampire
Count Duval El Vampiro
Countess Marya Zaleska Dracula's Daughter
Asa Vajda Black Sunday
Martin Cuda Martin
Anthony The Night Stalker
Caleb Croft Grave of the Vampire
Dr. Ravna The Kiss of the Vampire
Dr. Callistratus Blood of the Vampire

Historical people mentioned or appearing as characters[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

From the book cover: "The most comprehensive, brilliant, dazzlingly audacious vampire novel to date." (Locus); "A tour de fource which succeeds brilliantly." (The Times); "A marvellous marriage of political satire, melodramatic intrigue, gothic horror, and alternative history." (The Independent).