Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"The Gypsy Prophecy" by Bram Stoker-author of Dracula

"The Gypsy Prophecy" by Bram Stoker  (1895, 11 pages)

  Day Three
Irish Gothic
Bram Stoker

The cultural impact of Bram Stoker's Dracula  (1897) is just huge!    Vampires are one of the dominant images of world culture.   Stoker (1847 to 1912-Dublin) did not originate the myth of Dracula but it is to him we owe its power and shape.   Before I began doing a bit of research in preparation for Irish Short Stories Week, I did not know that he published a number of very well received Gothic style short stories before Dracula.  

"The Gypsy Prophecy"   is a very well written and suspenseful story.     In its few pages it created for me a lot of excitement.   I really wanted to see what would happen next.   I kept trying to guess what was going to happen next but I really did not see the end coming.   ( I should note that the story does portray Gypsy culture in a stereotypical fashion that seems very prejudiced.)

As the story opens Joshua and his good friend Doctor Burleigh have heard that a Gypsy tribe has camped temporarily near them.     They have heard that the Queen of the tribe has a powerful gift of prophecy and they want to go investigate it for a lark.   As they leave Joshua's wife, who he loves with all his heart, yells out to his friend to keep her husband from flirting with the Gypsy women.    The husband makes a theatrical gesture out of swearing fidelity and he and his friend are off to the camp.

The two friends tell each other the Queen is just a swindler looking for money-pieces of silver.   Suddenly the Queen appears, a tall stately woman with a very noble appears.   She asks Joshua he is married.   He laughs and says he is very happy in his marriage.   The queen at once screams at him his friend that he must leave his wife and never see her again as she sees her blood all over him.   She fears he will murder his wife.  

As he leaves his friend advise him not to tell his wife what the gypsy woman said.   He says no he has no secrets from his wife and he will tell her.   This turns out to a big mistake.    His wife at first is deathly afraid of him.    The she calms down, sort or at least a bit.   She does have all blades on the knifes in the house made dull.    Something shocking does happen.   I do not want to spoil the very well done ending of the story.

You can read this story and others and Dracula at

Mel u


Misha said...

I have just read Dracula by Bram Stoker and loved it! I wasn't aware of his other works. I will be checking this out. Thank you!

Novroz said...

I didn't know Stroker was an Irish! I though he was from British.
I haven't been able to read Dracula passed page 5 yet, maybe I should give it a try again one day

Suko said...

I didn't know Dram Stoker wrote short stories! This one sounds quite suspenseful. Great review.