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Dracula fails to fly

NEW YORK -- The long-lost original Dracula manuscript failed to grab buyers' attention at an auction in New York.

The 529-page Bram Stoker typescript had been expected to go under the hammer for about 1 million ($1.44 million) at Christie's but fell short of its undisclosed reserve price.

The document, which bears the author Bram Stoker's original handwritten title: "The Un-Dead," was not found until 1980 when it turned up in Massachusetts.

It was being sold by a U.S. collector who bought the manuscript four years later.

Christie's spokesperson Francis Wahlgren told the Press Association it was highly unusual for such a manuscript to be lost for almost a century.

"But in the case of the original typescript of Dracula, such a re-emergence seems appropriate, as if mirroring the mysterious disappearances and reappearances of Count Dracula in Stoker's classic horror novel."

The script discloses that Stoker, who wrote the novel at his home in Chelsea in west London and Cruden Bay in Scotland, originally planned to end the novel by the destruction of Castle Dracula in a volcanic eruption.

He may have been inspired to write about the blood-sucking Transylvanian count by a nightmare mentioned in one of his notebooks, which can be found in the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia, USA.

Stoker also drew on material from the Legends of the Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler, the German writer Goethe and early vampire stories.

He changed the title of the novel to the name of its main character, Dracula, only days before the publication in 1897.

Since then, the novel has been translated into 44 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Dracula has also become the most filmed character after Sherlock Homes.




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