The Dracula Dossier

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Orienting ourselves

A few hours of examining the book would yield the following:

  1. The thing is old, and most probably is an original printing, from the 1890s, albeit not one for distribution, as it’s missing the publisher info and in some places it looks a little rough and mis-aligned. It looks like a single sample copy.
  2. The annotations are in different colors and are clearly of different ages – 3 or 4 – and in different scripts. A little examination with various light sources and research online points to some being several decades old; some a few decades; and some quite recent. Spelling conventions and script style seem to support these conclusions.
  3. As stated, when the book is compared agains Doyle’s old printing it’s longer, and after leafing through it with an eye for what’s different, there are definitely sections of text that are in this copy and not the broadly-available version.

Ask anything you’d like about the book itself, given what you could reasonably figure out by looking at it for a few hours and doing some online research from your safe house. Please indicate which Investigative ability(s) you’re using, too.

Let’s get this started!

Comments

Noemi is an expert in these sorts of things, what with her Art History background, “I was at the Sorbonne ,don’t you know”, etc.

After examining it closely to determine what she can tell about its history/provenance, she goes and obtains some faux-1890s materials in case she needs to make a forged copy of this book with bad information in it. Definitely beyond the scope of a few days.

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Doyle scans the whole thing into his computer and hides it in three seperate locations of his many safe storage servers in the net.

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The scans come back blank. Attempts at digital photography also come back blank.

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How about going low tech and use film.

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Comes out blurry. It seems that any attempt at reproducing the thing, aside from manually transcribing it with pen and paper, comes up fouled in some way and unreadable.

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What about typing it manually? Doyle is a MUCH better typeset than writer.

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The typewriter runs out of ink.

It seems that any attempt to copy its contents aside from hand-writing it does not work. Fell magics at work…

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Clarification: you can summarize the thing on a typewriter, or paraphrase it, and on a word processor, as well. Things go oddly wrong when you try to copy it verbatim in any way other than with handwriting, on paper. The ink won’t run; the computer restarts without warning; you text app won’t accept letters. Very odd, indeed.

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How about misspelling every word? Shift every vowel. A is E. E is I. Etc. As well as W’s trade places with Y’s.
For typing purposes that is…

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Sure. If you want to make that effort and spend that time on all 400 pages, you can type it.

I think you’re missing the entire point of what’s behind this exchange: the book is not…right.

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Noemi is delighted with its properties. “Now nobody will know if a forgery is accurate!” She regards Doyle’s attempts to bypass these effects with a moue of distaste; like discovering someone is an extremely avid small-animal taxidermist. One doesn’t like to criticize a beloved hobby, but…

Nevertheless the annotations in the book also do not impress her. “‘Dracula’ already expresses the terror the late 19th century British had of women and foreigners, particularly with respect to sexuality, in a metaphorical way. To literalize it in this manner…? Tch.” She always has a cigarette in her fingers to wave when she concludes this type of statement.

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Lyle

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