Happy St. George’s Day everyone! Are you doing anything to celebrate it?
I love a myth or legend. There is something in that ancient art of storytelling. It’s amazing that some of these stories have managed to pass down over the ages.
A bit about the legend of St. George:
St George is most widely known for slaying a dragon. According to legend, the only well in the town of Silene was guarded by a dragon. In order to get water, the inhabitants of the town had to offer a human sacrifice every day to the dragon. The person to be sacrificed was chosen by lots. On the day that St George was visiting, a princess had been selected to be sacrificed. However, inevitably he killed the dragon, saved the princess and gave the people of Silene access to water. In gratitude, they converted to Christianity.
It is thought that the dragon represents a certain type of pagan belief that included the sacrifice of human beings. Possibly Drivel but who can really tell.
My favourite version of St George’s Day:
In the book, Dracula by Bram Stoker, evil things are said to occur on St George’s Day, beginning at midnight. The date of St George’s Day presented in the book, 5 May (on the Western, Gregorian Calendar), is St George’s Day as observed by the Eastern Orthodox churches of that era.
(Excerpt from Dracula, 1897) “Do you know what day it is?” I answered that it was the fourth of May. She shook her head as she said again: “Oh, yes! I know that, I know that! but do you know what day it is?” On my saying that I did not understand, she went on: “It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?”
Whatever you chose to do, I hope you all have a great weekend.
Okay, so you might be thinking who the hell am I to be doing a review of Bram Stoker? He’s a classic, you must have a Degree in Literature, several years publishing knowledge and be widely read on all Classical Literature, right?
Well, that’s exactly the thought that made me want to post this review. I’ll start with the confession. I managed to make it to the ripe old age of 27 without having ever read Dracula. The proper novel. I have read a lot of authors in this genre, Anne Rice, Rachel Caine, Stephenie Meyer, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris etc etc. Not to mention the countless movies. I would say in some ways I’m addicted to this genre yet I had never read the proper Dracula *hangs head in shame*.
So anyway, to the review. The reason I wanted to review this book is because it is actually amazing. Published in 1897, you would expect this novel to be stuffy and uptight, full of complicated language that is no longer in use, or that you cannot get your head around (*cough – we have all read classics like this, don’t deny it!). This is different, it flows so well, it’s exciting, and despite the many retellings I did wonder at one point which way the story would go.
The story is what we all know and love. The young, dashing, soon to be wed, Jonathan Harker visits Count Dracula to sort out some paperwork.
However he soon works out that the Castle is not all it seems and neither is the enigmatic Dracula. Soon Lucy begins sleepwalking nightly and each day feels more and more retched, can the intelligent Dr Abraham Van Helsing save her? What about poor Mina, Harkers fiancée, who also starts to suffer in a similar manner?
So there you have it, probably the same review others have made regurgitated in a prosaic manner, but hopefully it may inspire just a few individuals who are undecided to read this book and see if they agree.