The Land beyond the forest: source material for Dracula


Emily Gerard was from a wealthy family, and spent many years in various parts of central Europe with her husband, an officer in the Austrian Army. She wrote fiction and travel books, collaborating on occasions with her sister Dorothea.

How does this book portray Transylvania?

During the years 1883–85, while her husband was posted in Transylvania, Gerard researched and wrote about the social history of the area. Her article ‘Transylvanian superstitions’ included material on the vampire myth, and was used by Bram Stoker while he was researching for his book Dracula (1897); here also he came across the term ‘nosferatu’.

Her book on the region, The Land beyond the Forest: Facts, Figures and Fancies from Transylvania (1888), was more than a collection of folkloric anecdotes; as well as providing for the English-reading public a survey of the customs and traditions of what was then an exotic location, she described the political situation and suggested that these areas had a role in the wider sphere of European politics.

Full title:
The Land beyond the forest
1888, Edinburgh
Emily Gerard
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Bram Stoker’s stage adaptation of Dracula

Article by:
Greg Buzwell
The Gothic

Greg Buzwell explores the story behind Bram Stoker's adaptation of Dracula for the theatre.

Dracula: vampires, perversity and Victorian anxieties

Article by:
Greg Buzwell
The Gothic, London, Fin de siècle

The vampire is a complicated creature: caught between life and death, at once alluring and horrifying. Greg Buzwell considers the way the novel reflects the fears that haunted late 19th-century society – fears of immigration, sexual promiscuity and moral degeneration.

Gothic motifs

Article by:
John Bowen
The Gothic, The novel 1780–1832

What does it mean to say a text is Gothic? Professor John Bowen considers some of the best-known Gothic novels of the late 18th and 19th centuries, exploring the features they have in common, including marginal places, transitional time periods and the use of fear and manipulation.

Related collection items