Fintan O’Toole delivers the annual Robert Fagles Memorial Lecture entitled, “Dracula and Home Rule: History, Horror and a Dream of Reconciliation.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula may not be the greatest of Irish novels but it is certainly the one that has had the most influence on global popular culture. The novel is set in Transylvania and in England. Ireland is not mentioned and none of the characters is Irish. But in this lecture O’Toole suggests that Stoker, as a supporter of the contemporary cause of Home Rule for Ireland is, among other things, trying to create a myth in which the recurring divisions of Irish history, the undead antagonisms between Protestant and Catholic, are finally laid to rest. In the face of a greater evil, Stoker’s characters must bring Catholic and Protestant, peasant and aristocrat, tradition and modernity, together. The stake through Dracula’s heart is also an imaginary end of Irish history.
O’Toole will be introduced by Jane Cox, Director of the Program in Theater & Music Theater at the Lewis Center for the Arts.
About Fintan O’Toole
Fintan O’Toole’s books on politics include the recent best sellers We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland and Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain. His books on theater include works on William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Thomas Murphy. He regularly contributes to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, and other international publications. In 2011, The Observer named O’Toole one of “Britain’s top 300 intellectuals.” He has received the A.T. Cross Award for Supreme Contribution to Irish Journalism, the Millennium Social Inclusion Award, Journalist of the Year in 2010, the Orwell Prize, and the European Press Prize. O’Toole’s History of Ireland in 100 Objects, which covers 100 highly charged artifacts from the last 10,000 years, is currently the basis for Ireland’s postage stamps. He has recently been appointed official biographer of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney. In 2023, O’Toole was named an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Tickets & Details
The lecture is free and open to the public; no advance tickets or registration required.
Get directions to the James Stewart Film Theater, located on the first floor at 185 Nassau Street.
The James Stewart Film Theater is an accessible venue. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least one week in advance of the event date.