Susan Stoker Biography & Facts
Lucy Westenra is a fictional character in the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The 19-year-old daughter of a wealthy family, she is Mina Murray's best friend and Dracula's first English victim. She subsequently transforms into a vampire and is eventually destroyed.
Lucy Westenra is a 19-year old woman, "blonde, demure, and waiting for the right man to come along to marry her". She is, however, not a passive woman, and clearly expresses her sexual desires: she has three suitors, and writes to her friend Mina that she would like to marry all of them. All three propose to her on the same day—Arthur Holmwood, the wealthy son of Lord Godalming; Quincey Morris, an American; and Dr John Seward, a psychiatrist—and she chooses Holmwood. She is prone to sleepwalking and is attacked by Dracula, who gradually drains her of her blood until it eventually proves fatal. In her final moments, her vampire side emerges and nearly tries to bite Arthur. But Lucy regains her human senses and requests Van Helsing to protect him which he obliges to before apparently passing. A week after her burial, she rises and subsequently becomes a vampire, attacking children which Helsing identifies by the telltale bite marks on their necks and timing of her death and the start of the attacks. She is then confronted and eventually destroyed by Van Helsing and her suitors, allowing Lucy to rest in peace. Lucy's death and subsequent transformation as a vampire motivate her suitors and Mina to join forces with Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker in hunting Dracula in retaliation.
Critical readings, historical background
According to Sally Ledger, Lucy "is at first sight an archetype of Victorian femininity", but later shares characteristics with the then-new feminist ideal of the New Woman.Leslie Ann Minot pointed out, in a 2017 essay on Lucy Westenra and other 19th century female characters, that if Dracula is an overt portrayal of a sexualized monster, then Westenra is problematic since her attacks on children would then equate to "the sweet Lucy sexually molesting toddlers"; Minot sees this as one reason why the character has received less attention than others. She historicizes the character (and the novel) by placing it against a backdrop of a number of well-publicized cases of child molestation and abuse of children by mother figures, particularly in the context of baby farming (she cites the case of Margaret Waters). Victorian society had begun to take an interest in the welfare of children, resulting in the Factory Act of 1891 and the foundation of the SPCC, which would become the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.Stoker was well aware of these developments, and was close friends with W. T. Stead, the newspaper editor who supported the SPCC, published lurid accounts of child abuse, and was himself jailed for the abduction of a 13-year old girl, which he organized as a demonstration. Stoker used newspaper clippings in the novel which are pastiches of the sensationalist writings of Stead and others about child prostitution, in particular Stead's "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon", and he describes the lower-class victims in much the same way. Their childish talk leads to "bloofer lady", as a child's way of saying "beautiful lady". This "bloofer lady" talks to children and lures them with the promise of riches and games, and after their return, bearing bite marks, become emaciated and weak and wish to return to the "bloofer lady". All this is described in language similar to that of newspaper reports on women seducing children into prostitution. Minot also called Lucy "a demonic mother-parody, taking nourishment from children instead of giving it".
Ruth Landshoff appears as Ruth (a character similar to Lucy), the sister of shipbuilder Harding, in the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu.
Frances Dade was the first young woman to play the speaking role in the cinema in the first film of Universal Studios' Dracula series, though her character was credited as Lucy Weston. In the Spanish-language version of the same year, Carmen Guerrero portrays Lucia Weston. In both films, her death after becoming a vampire occurs off-screen, and is only implied in the English version.
In the 1953 Turkish film Drakula İstanbul'da she is called Sadan, and is played by Ayfer Feray.
In 1958, Hammer Films' Dracula Lucy is Arthur Holmwood's sister, and her fiancé is Jonathan Harker. She becomes a victim, and later "bride" of Dracula as revenge against Jonathan Harker for destroying his former bride. Lucy meets the same fate as her literary character, although she tries to attack Arthur before being destroyed. She is played by Carol Marsh.
Susan George played another Lucy Weston in a TV version of Dracula in 1968. In this version she is the one who bites Mina and turns her into vampire.
In 1970, Soledad Miranda portrayed Lucy Westenra in Count Dracula by Jesus Franco.
In the 1971 Czechoslovakian TV movie Hrabe Drakula Lucy is portrayed by Hana Maciuchová. Her last name is never mentioned in this version.
Dan Curtis's 1973 TV version of Dracula starred Fiona Lewis as Lucy Westenra. In this version, Lucy's character was Dracula's reincarnated love.
Charlotte Blunt portrayed Lucy in the 1973 Dracula episode of the Canadian Purple Playhouse TV series. This version portrayed Mina and Lucy as sisters, and Lucy's full name was Lucy Murray.
The BBC's version of Dracula saw Susan Penhaligon as Lucy Westenra in 1977. This version was first aired in the US as part of the Great Performances series. This version portrayed Mina and Lucy as sisters.
The characters of Lucy and Mina were switched in 1979 film Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. In this version what was the Stoker's Lucy character is now named Mina, she is the one to be killed by vampire. She is played by Martje Grohmann. What was Stoker's Mina character is now named Lucy Harker, she is wife of Jonathan Harker and Dracula’s second and main victim. She is played by Isabelle Adjani.
The characters of Lucy and Mina were also switched in 1979 film Dracula starring Frank Langella. What was the Stoker's Lucy character is now named Mina Van Helsing, the daughter of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, who arrives after her death, finds her to be a vampire and kills her. She is played by Jan Francis. What was the Stoker's Mina character is now named Lucy Seward, the daughter of Dr.Seward and fiancee of Jonathan Harker. This character survives Dracula's power, and only momentarily becomes his bride. She is played by Kate Nelligan.
In Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Lucy is played by Sadie Frost. Lucy is eroticized much further than her literary incarnation, becoming more than seductive and coquettish, even tempting. As a spoiled child of aristocracy, she talks with artlessness and frankness, bordering on the indecent, though at the same time remaining a kind-hearted and sweet young girl. Unlike.... Discover the Susan Stoker popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Susan Stoker books.