Because Bram Stoker studied Transylvania from the safe distance of the library at the British Museum, that’s why. As does his character Jonathan Harker in Stoker’s never-yet-topped vampire novel Dracula (1897).
"Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country."
You can see Stoker’s application for a British Museum Library ticket at the BM’s website HERE.
The British Museum is at the top of many a London To Do list. And these days, one can experience its delights in many ways. Some of the collection can be researched online; one can even listen to the BBC’s monumental series The History of the World in 100 Objects. Treasures for the nation: yes. Treasures for the world: of course. Come one come all. But to truly experience it, one has to head to Bloomsbury. It’s a London Thing.
A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.