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BOOK REVIEWS Unfortunately the essays in this volume veer away from, rather than point toward, some coherent perspective on the New York Edition viewed as James's final statement made about his work and about himself as an author. A coherent examination of the New York Edition may be found in Philip Home's Henry James and Revision (1990). However, Henry James's New York Edition: The Construction of Authorship remains a brilliant but idiosyncratic collection that will play a role in future exploration of the James territory. But does this "new" James tell us anything useful about the James who wrote the last texts with complete mastery and control and whose characters peopling his fiction seem such solid entities? Although interpretations of his work must vary as people become interested in asking new questions about his figure and his work, we still must grant him mastery in that work; we read him for his fiction, not his personal problems. Most of the essays in this book touch on peripheral issues raised by theiVeit; York Edition. Those essays which invoke "the little problems of philosophy" as contemporary linguistic theoreticians see them remind us, in their relation to literature, of Pirandello's line from one of his plays. He takes to task "philosophy as studied by men who are not philosophers." Adeline R. Tintner ________________ New York City Stoker & the Culture of His Times David Glover. Vampires, Mummies and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996. 212 pp. Cloth $49.95 Paper $16.95 DESPITE MORE than two decades of serious scholarly interest in Dracula, Bram Stoker remains an enigma, and Vampires, Mummies and Liberals would be worth reading if it did nothing more than provide insights about the writer of a late nineteenth-century novel that has become a powerful twentieth-century myth. Glover's dense and thorough scholarly study does more than place Stoker as the writer of an immensely powerful popular book, however, for it also carefully examines the cultural issues that influenced Stoker and presents him as a man grappling with the serious social, political, and scientific issues of his day. Erudite and not always easy reading, Vampires, Mummies and Liberals is nonetheless essential for anyone who is interested in Stoker, inDracula, in the literature and culture of late-Victorian and Edwardian England, and in popular literature. 497 ELT 40:4 1997 Glover begins his study by drawing the reader's attention to what has become almost a cliché in Stoker studies—that Stoker, despite three biographies (now four, though Glover's book went to press before he would have had an opportunity to read Barbara Belton's 1996 biography) is "a notoriously elusive subject." However, Glover quickly distinguishes himself from the scholars who have attempted to "psychoanalyze the author through the text" even though he admits that "Stoker himself constantly invites a biographical reading by playfully scattering topical references and allusions through his work." In contrast, Glover goes on to place his own approach to Stoker within the field of cultural studies. This theoretical approach, which to me is much more interesting and productive than endless speculation about Stoker's life, means that he examines Stoker's literary career within the context of English culture during a period when "what has been called the Victorian 'age of equipoise'... began to unravel." Thus he places Stoker where he solidly belongs, between the traditional world into which he was born and the modern world that he hoped to understand. Even more important, Glover's study examines Stoker as a whole rather than as the writer of one immensely influential book or as a "tormented clinical case history." Not only does it place Dracula within the context of Stoker's other writings, but it also respects Stoker enough to read him "as he most wanted to be read, as a popular writer." Glover reminds readers that Stoker wrote sixteen books as well as numerous short stories and essays and that much of what he wrote reveals his concern with "questions of nationhood, character, and sexuality, and the close links between them," issues often covered in recent scholarship on Dracula. Because Glover is most...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 497-500
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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