Though usually portrayed as having a strong Eastern European accent, the original novel only specifies that his spoken English is excellent, though strangely toned.
- His appearance is originally described as thin, with a long white mustache set under an aquiline nose, pointed ears and sharp teeth. He is dressed all in black and has hair on his palms. Jonathan Harker described him as an old man; "cruel looking" and giving an effect of "extraordinary pallor". When angered the Count showed his true bestial nature, his blue eyes flaming red.
- I saw. Dracula. With red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.
– Jonathan Harker's Journal, Dracula, Chapter 4
As the novel progresses, Dracula is described as taking on a more and more youthful appearance. However, Jonathan Harker's observation that Dracula is invisible in the mirror suggests that he is essentially incorporeal.
- Dead and buried in a great tomb in the chapel of his castle, Dracula returns from death as a vampire and lives for several centuries in his castle with three beautiful female vampires, who lay similarly entombed in the chapel beside him. His relations with these so-called "Brides of Dracula" are intimate, and two of them seem to bear a possible family resemblance though whether they be his lovers, sisters, daughters or an incestuous combination of these, as some have conjectured, is not made clear in the narrative.
– Mina Harker's Journal, 30 September, Dracula, Chapter 18
As the novel begins in the late 19th century, Dracula acts on a long contemplated plan for world domination, and infiltrates London to begin his reign of terror. He summons Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, to provide legal support for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer. Dracula at first charms Harker with his cordiality and historical knowledge and even rescues him from the clutches of his three bloodthirsty brides. In truth, however, Dracula wishes to keep Harker alive just long enough for his legal transaction to finish and to learn as much as possible about England.
Dracula leaves his castle and boards a Russian ship, the Demeter, taking along with him boxes of Transylvanian soil, which he needs in order to regain his strength. During the voyage to Whitby, a coastal town in northern England, he sustains himself on the ship's crew members. Only one body is later found, that of the captain, who is found tied up to the ship's helm. The captain's log is recovered and tells of strange events that had taken place during the ship's journey. Dracula leaves the ship in the form of a wolf.
Soon Dracula is menacing Harker's devoted fiancée, Mina Murray, and her vivacious friend, Lucy Westenra. There is also a notable link between Dracula and R.M. Renfield, a patient in an insane asylum compelled to consume insects, spiders, birds, and other creatures - in ascending order of size - in order to absorb their "life force". Renfield acts as a kind of sensor, reacting to Dracula's proximity and supplying clues accordingly. Dracula begins to visit Lucy's bed chamber on a nightly basis, draining her of blood while simultaneously infecting her with the curse of vampirism. Not knowing the cause for Lucy's deterioration, her companions call upon the Dutch doctor Van Helsing, the former mentor of one of Lucy's suitors. Van Helsing soon deduces her condition's supernatural origins, but does not speak out. Despite an attempt at keeping the vampire at bay with garlic, Dracula entices Lucy out of her chamber late at night and drains her blood, killing her and transforming her into one of the undead.
Van Helsing and a group of men enter Lucy's crypt and kill her reanimated corpse. They later enter Dracula's residence at Carfax, destroying his boxes of earth, depriving Dracula of his ability to rest. Dracula leaves England to return to his homeland, but not before biting Mina.
The final section of the novel details the heroes racing Dracula back to Transylvania, and in a climactic battle with Dracula's gypsy bodyguards, destroying him. Despite the popular image of Dracula having a stake driven through his heart, Mina's narrative describes his throat being sliced through by Jonathan Harker's kukri knife and his heart pierced by Quincey Morris's bowie knife
The novel begins with Seward tracking down Elizabeth Bathory, whom he believes is a vampire. After seeing her bathe in a young woman's blood, he tracks her to a theater in Paris. Quincey Harker, son to Jonathan and Mina, is in Paris having being forced to attend law school instead of pursuing a career in theater. Quincey learns that Basarab, a Romanian actor who is taking Europe by storm is in town to perform in Richard III and vows to see his performance no matter how it enrages his father, whom he has grown to despise. To his surprise he is summoned by Basarb to his dressing room, where they strike up an unlikely friendship. However they are disturbed when Bathory's vampiric attendants attempt to attack Basarab, although they are thwarted by Seward. As Seward chases the vampires, he is struck and killed by a carriage in which Bathory and the vampires escape. Abraham Van Helsing, now a sickly old man, returns to London after hearing of Seward's death. He believes that Dracula has returned.
It is revealed that by marriage Dracula and Bathory are cousins but while both became vampires, Dracula still saw himself as a soldier of God while Bathory spurned God and all those who worshipped him. The two fight, in which Dracula is overpowered and nearly killed; only Mina's quick thinking saves him by having Bathory yanked from the train via a loose cable. The sword in her leg makes contact with the tracks, causing her to burst into flame.
Mina takes him to Carfax Abbey to make a final stand against Bathory; during the trip we learn that the real reason Dracula came to London 25 years ago was to hunt down Bathory, who was slaughtering women under the guise of Jack the Ripper and though Dracula admits the heroes' acts were noble and chivalrous, they were hunting the wrong monster (The deaths on the Demeter- the ship that brought Dracula to England - were caused by a virus among the crew, Dracula being forced to feed on Lucy after his arrival in England simply because he was starving after so long without blood). Quincey also makes for Carfax, hoping to kill Dracula before he gets to his mother. Dracula appeals to Mina to let him turn her into a vampire, so that even if Bathory kills him Mina will be able to destroy her in her weakened state. Mina initially refuses, believing Dracula is the one who viciously murdered Jonathan and Seward; Dracula denies this, saying that he would never hurt them for a reason unspecified.
However, her fear for Quincey's life forces her to give in, and Dracula finally turns Mina into a vampire; shockingly to Dracula, consuming the tainted blood he put into Mina years ago heals him and renews his strength. Quincey arrives at Carfax, and is heartbroken to see his mother dead in a coffin.
Bathory and Dracula engage in a bloody duel, in which Bathory nearly kills Dracula with the same kukri blade that Harker used against him 25 years ago. However Dracula, the more skilled swordsman, outmaneuvers her and impales her with his broken sword as she stabs him in the chest with the kukri blade. Bathory collapses and crumples to dust as Quincey confronts Dracula, who refuses to defend himself. Dracula's compassion is revealed with a thunderous revelation; that Quincey is truly Dracula's son and not Jonathan's and though he loved him dearly, he would never harm Quincey or those who raised him. Mina confirms this fact, and suddenly the true reason behind the disintegration of his family and their friendships was laid bare. Refusing to become the monster that his father became, Quincey leaves both behind. Dracula takes solace that his son is safe and succumbs to his wounds, falling off a cliff and bursting into flames as the sun rises. Mina, forsaken by her son and cursed to live eternally, follows Dracula off of the cliff to be reunited with her two loves (Jonathan and Dracula). nbenownst to him, boxes labeled as property of Vladimir Basarab are also loaded on board. The ocean liner is later revealed to be the RMS Titanic.