Dracula Daily is Tumblr's hottest new book club

Dracula Daily is Tumblr’s hottest new book club

Anyone online has been following the daily diary entries of English barrister Jonathan Harker – aka one of the main characters in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. On Tumblr in particular, posts about the classic novel have started to flood the platform. While it might seem odd that vast swaths of Tumblr users have declared the classic novel their new obsession, there’s actually a pretty simple explanation for the phenomenon: Dracula Daily.

What is Dracula Daily?

Dracula Daily is a newsletter from web developer Matt Kirkland, who delivers the classic 1897 novel Dracula to your inbox – but with a twist. Bram Stoker’s book is written in epistolary form, via letters, diary entries and newspaper articles. Story events occur between May and November, and Kirkland “will publish a newsletter each day that something happens to the characters, in the same timeline as it happens to them.”

The bulletin Actually first launched last year, but Kirkland decided to loop it again this year, because, why not? It kicked off on May 3 – the day lawyer Jonathan Harker begins his travelogue chronicling his business trip to Transylvania – and will end on November 7. Some days will have no entries, while others will have multiple chapters. (Here’s a handy guide to when the emails will arrive, if you were curious).

It’s not a modern adaptation like Lizzie Bennet’s Diaries or even any kind of adaptation featuring the Count, such as Castlevania. Since the newsletter is delivered on a daily basis, it is also not an individual interpretation of the novel, jumping back and forth in time. For the most part, however, Daily Dracula is simply the text of Dracula delivered in bites (ha). This is not the first edition of this newsletter, but this time various online communities — especially on Tumblr — have decided to bring Dracula back to life (ha ha).

XOXO, Dracula

On the internet, people get a taste (ha ha ha) of Dracula. It’s like a giant book club, except with a more generous time to complete page count. In particular, Dracula Daily has found a particularly large following on Tumblr: despite launching on May 3, the newsletter has managed to beat out pop culture heavyweights like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, moon knightand The owl house (coming in second after the Met Gala), according to Tumblr’s Fandometrics tracker.

One day, users logged in to find that everyone they were following was suddenly posting about Dracula. Some didn’t even know it was thanks to a newsletter, and just assumed that Tumblr users had decided to hang on to an old book. However, the discovery of the newsletter convinced people to sign up, which only increased the number of publications.

And when people take an interest in something, memes are sure to follow – from fan art to comic books and more. Ever since the first Dracula Daily articles focused on Jonathan, there have been plenty of posts about how nice it is to get an email from their buddy Jonathan Harker while on a business trip.

There’s just something particularly fun about seeing a classic novel like Dracula back in time. Unlike classics like Pride and Prejudice or For Whom the Bell Tolls, you may be familiar with Dracula, the character, even without knowing the plot points of the novel. (The closest equivalent is probably Frankensteinwhere people definitely know Frankenstein’s Monster even if they haven’t read the book.)

With that in mind, parts of the novel become hilarious with the context of time. In 2022, we all know who Dracula is, but in 1897 poor Jonathan Harker has no idea why a peasant woman tried to give him a crucifix.

But it’s not all memes and antics. Some people also use this as a chance to look at the classic text from a more scholarly perspective, whether that’s offering historical context or unpacking some of the stuff that hasn’t aged well.

There are still many months left for Dracula Daily, so only time will tell if the excitement will continue. If you want to join Tumblr’s new book club, you can always sign up for the newsletter. previously sent emails are available on the Substack page, if you want to catch up.

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