Theadora Jean

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


In this project I argue that Dracula (1897) is a novel deeply engaged with, and responding to, the fin de siècle New Woman. While Stoker has largely been viewed as either conservative or, at best, ambivalent towards the ‘Woman Question’ of the period, I seek to explore more closely the relationship between Dracula and New Woman scholarship. The character Mina has been excluded as a New Woman, by critics such as Carol A. Senf, due to her role as wife and mother. However, these values map directly onto the New Woman arguments made by New Women writers themselves. Many significant New Women writers, including George Egerton and Sarah Grand, argued for reimagining motherhood as a tool for women’s social emancipation. I reconsider the New Woman as a more complex figure, who often represented eugenic thought and traditional, even patriarchal, values. The perception of the character Lucy as sexually assertive has limited the critical assessment of her as New Woman, too, which I expand upon here. Therefore, Bram Stoker’s Dracula offers a more complicated engagement and dialogue with the New Woman phenomenon. My analysis uses a Derridean framework, focusing on the ‘archive’ to interrogate the textual productions within the novel. The creative section of my thesis then reimagines the Dracula story in the twenty-first century, engaging with themes of adaptation, the #MeToo movement and social media.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Roberts, Adam, Supervisor
  • Greenaway, Vicky, Advisor
Award date1 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2023


  • Vampires
  • Dracula
  • Bram Stoker
  • New Woman
  • Gothic
  • Fiction
  • Fin de Siecle
  • Gender
  • Feminism
  • Derrida
  • Archive
  • Text

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