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When you read Bram Stoker's Other Gothics: Contemporary Reviews, you'll discover that the reviews serve as a critique of Stoker's contemporary literary reception. Somewhat more surprising, they also provide insights into his evolving interests. Reading between the lines, you'll glimpse the progression of Stoker's life as well: Under the Sunset and The Snake's Pass encapsulate his Irish background and interest in Irish folklore; The Mystery of the Sea invokes his beloved family holidays to Cruden Bay and other coastal villages; The Jewel of Seven Stars demonstrates his interest in Egyptology and the supernatural, and conjures reminiscences of Stoker's association with Sir William Wilde; The Lady of the Shroud is a sort of "in shadow of Dracula" book that falls short of his most popular title's fame; and finally Lair of the White Worm echoes the perhaps confused mindset of the ailing author in his final years.
Reading these reviews makes me want to re-read Stoker's entire repertoire. Not only the titles reviewed in Other Gothics, but his less popular fiction and non-fiction works as well. I am certain that if you were to embark on such an endeavour, this biographical trend would continue. Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions, Glimpses of America, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving . . . they all help to add detail to the portrait of the man who wrote them.
-Brian J. Showers, 2010
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