Book Study 3: Dracula by Bram Stoker

During 2024 we are going to do a series of English lessons related to famous authors and their books. One of the regular peices of advice I give to all of my students is that one of the best ways to advance your vocabulary and understand another culture is to read.  Reading expands your knowledge, increases your knowledge of the English language and how we use it and opens your world. When I ask my students the question: “Do you read?” invariably, they say no. Unfortunately, the internet seems to have killed books.  DOWNLOAD the BOOK HERE

Grammar Studied:  “Determiners”

Book Study Three:

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Chapter One:  Introduction to Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was an Irish author, best known for his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. Born on November 8, 1847, in Dublin, Ireland, Stoker had a successful career as a theater manager and personal assistant to actor Sir Henry Irving. Despite suffering from various illnesses during his childhood, Stoker went on to become a prolific writer of novels and short stories. Throughout his life, he produced numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, but his enduring fame rests on the lasting influence of his most famous creation, Count Dracula. Stoker died on April 20, 1912, in London, England.

Now let’s recap any new vocabulary:

Synonyms: (Prolific), Fecund scribe, productive author, abundant wordsmith

Synonyms: (Enduring), perpetual recognition, long-lasting prestige

GRAMMAR:  What is a determiner?  A determiner in English grammar is a word or a group of words that introduces and specifies a noun or a noun phrase. Determiners provide information about the definiteness, quantity, or possession of the noun they precede. Common types of determiners include articles (the, a, an), demonstratives (this, that, these, those), possessives (my, your, his, her, its, our, their), quantifiers (some, any, many, much, several), and numbers (one, two, three). Determiners help to establish context and clarify meaning in sentences.

Grammar Question:  

  1. In this sentence, determine if the word “many” is used as a determiner or not: “Many believe that Count Dracula could control many wolves and other creatures of the night.”

Video Listening Section:  Watch the 5 minute video and answer the four questions below:


            1. Where are they?
            2. What is the boy selling in the street?
            3. What is the headline on the newspaper?
            4. How much does a newspaper cost ?

Section Two:

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty.  I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.

Now let’s recap any new vocabulary:

Synonyms: (Paprika) It’s a spice

Synonyms: (Rather) somewhat, fairly, moderately or alternatively

Grammar Question:

2. Select the sentence that uses a determiner correctly:
a) Count Dracula often slept during day.
b) The Count Dracula was known for his powers of persuasion.
c) At nighttime was when Count Dracula was most active.

Section Three:

I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it. Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country.

I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.

Now let’s recap any new vocabulary:

Synonyms: (At my disposal)   Available to me, at my command, within my reach, at my fingertips

Synonyms: (Foreknowledge) To know before

Grammar Question:

3.  Identify the incorrect determiner in the following sentence and replace it with the correct one: “Count Dracula could transform into all bat at will.”

Section Four:

I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.

Now let’s recap any new vocabulary:

Synonyms: (to light on any map)  To find on any map

Synonyms: ( fairly well-known place) A place that people know

Grammar Question:

4.  Fill in the blank with an appropriate determiner: “Count Dracula had _____ insatiable thirst for blood.”
a) this
b) an
c) many

Section Five:

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

Now let’s recap any new vocabulary:

Synonyms: (Whirlpool)   spinning water

Synonyms: (Carafe) a glass container for serving water

Grammar Question:

5.  Choose the correct determiner to complete the sentence: “Count Dracula lived in _____ eerie castle in Transylvania.”
a) an
b) the
c) a

Download the Book Here:  CLICK HERE

Watch the movie Here: The True Story of Dracula




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