chapter  1
38 Pages

Hybrid Gardens: Nationalization of Taste, Travel Writing,

Byand Ann Radcliffe’s Continental Landscapes

This chapter argues that this fictional phenomenon is a part of a broader preoccupation with the problem of representing Eastern Europe in contemporary British travel writing and a reflection of a heightened tension between the discourses of empire and European identity. It considers Count Dracula's resistance to pictorial representation in the context of the epistemological challenges that Eastern Europe posed to late nineteenth-century writers. Although the characteristic initial response of British travel writers to Eastern Europe was to draw boundaries and establish contrasts, Eastern Europe turned out to be all-too-familiar in the late nineteenth century. Such interplay between 'othering' and 'mirroring' may account for the continued popularity of Stoker's novel. Dracula has perpetuated stereotypical imaginative geographies of Eastern Europe since its publication, but they became particularly useful in the aftermath of the Cold War. In developing his East European settings, Stoker was inspired by the contemporary challenges associated with representing Eastern Europe in British travel writing.