[ID. The Mean Girls “It’s October 3rd” meme. Cady voice over: “On October 3rd he asked me how long the dracula daily entry was”. Cady says: “it’s 50 pages”. END ID.]
Van Helsing: Mina's been a great contributor thus far, but it's time to leave her out of the hunt. Her poor weak, fragile woman heart couldn't handle such horrors. Women just aren't as mentally or emotionally stable as us men.
Jonathan: *still has severe PTSD and is about to be forced to relive his trauma*
Arthur: *had just had his fifth mental breakdown this week*
Quincey: *thinks its a good idea to shoot a bat indoors*
Jack: *going through an existential crisis upon learning the supernatural exists*
van helsing: we’re going to defeat dracula with the power of love and friendship
quincey: and this gun I found
The Aerated Bread Company
Hello, Dracula Daily Book Club. Would you like to know more about the Aerated Bread Company? It was real.
In the 1850s, a Scottish doctor named John Dauglish figured out how to make bread without yeast by means of a solution of carbon dioxide. This meant less to no kneading by hand or foot (yes, foot), leading to a cleaner product. Dauglish seems like kind of an intense guy, and said that bread made under his process was "free from the destructive influence of fermentation." He wasn't alone in this distrust of fermentation, though: an 1860 article in the Illustrated London News said that it was "long known" that yeasted bread was "apt to disagree with persons of delicate heath" and continue fermenting in the body - which sounds like celiac sprue to me but I'm not a Victorian doctor.
Lucky for capitalism, aerated bread was very cheap to produce. So when the Aerated Bread Company was founded, they, as irritating people like to say, disrupted the market. Soon they supplemented their retail shops with tea shops, which were self-service. The ABC shops became rare acceptable spaces for women to eat and socialize unescorted by men. That and the cheapness must have helped them in becoming enormously popular.
There were eventually hundreds of ABC shops in London alone. George Bernard Shaw loved them. George Orwell hated them. The shops spilled into popular culture, showing up in, of course, Dracula, but also works by TS Eliot, Agatha Christie, Saki, Virginia Woolf, and AA Milne. The company hung on until 1982.
Most bread made in the UK today isn't made with Dauglish's process, but instead the Chorleywood Bread Process, which actually uses more yeast than traditional recipes.
Who knows what Stoker's actual intentions were, especially given his own biases and bigotry, but between Mina being excluded out of misogyny, and Renfield not being taken seriously out of ableism - with dire, potentially deadly consequences - it's almost as if the moral lesson of today's entries is that not listening to the marginalized, dismissing them as being incapable of mental strength, and denying their agency may, in fact, be terrible for both the less privileged first and foremost, but also everyone else around them.
Bram Stoker is hilarious, actually
Another stunning turnout with the most votes cast for a single candidate so far! Here are the results:
The winner of Round 5 is Lucy Westenra!
I’m certain we’re all very proud of our girl for smashing the gendered glass ceiling of tumblr sexymen! Truly, a woman who received three proposals in one day has an incredible power and appeal. Now, let’s introduce our next contestants...
Two fan favorites whose curious popularity captured the hearts of many a reader!
Jonathan Harker, From Your Emails versus The News Correspondent (aka Alfred Singleton)
September 30: AND IM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
September 17 October 1
Jonathan swore when he was escaping the castle that he would rather die a man than become undead.
But when it is Mina's soul on the line, he would rather give up his soul than force her to be alone.
If that isn't romance, I don't know what is.
Pictured: Quincy Morris observes a bat.
okay okay lemme just explain this real quick because oh my dark gaia i have so much to say about the aerated bread company
okay to start it off, the aerated bread company was originally a bakery chain in london known for a special method of making bread with machines that skipped the fermentation process used by most bread makers at the time by putting carbon dioxide into the process and producing carbonic acid gas.
this very element of the aerated bread company was widely debated as some people saw the way the bread was now kneaded by machinery and made quickly with carbon dioxide as a step into the future and some saw it as an abandoning of the traditional ways of bread making.
john dauglish, the inventor of the method and founder of the company, received an patent for the method in 1856, received a silver medal from the royal society of the arts, and had his methods highly recommended by many physicians and sanitarians at the time, even using the method in hospitals due to the cleanliness of the machine bread. the process was also cheaper and made it so the company could sell it at lower prices than other london bakeries. it was so well received that even americans were fascinated by the dauglish bread making process. while it is no longer used today, the process lasted for a century or so before being replaced by the chorleywood bread process which is now still in use today.
not everyone was a fan however. many classic bakers saw the innovation as a blasphemy to the way bread was supposed to be done. they believed that fermentation was the only way to make bread and that by taking that and hand kneading out of the process, the aerated bread company was doing a disservice to the art as a whole. traditional bread makers, in order to combat the cheapness of the aerated bread company's bread, marketed their usage of gin in their traditional bread as it was thought to have medical benefits at the time due to the juniper berries fermented to make it. despite this however, the aerated bread company continued to be popular with rapidly rising stocks and continued demand with bakery after bakery opening in the area
however, bread wasn't the only thing made by the aerated bread company as you may have figured out from this short mention. in 1864 they opened their tearoom in fenchurch street railroad station and the chain only grew from there. many things were offered in addition to tea as you can see from the menu above. at the aerated bread company's peak in 1923 they had 250 tea shops in london, other towns in england, and even sydney, australia!
just like the bread-making process that gave the aerated bread company it's name however, the tea shops had quite a bit of controversy. one of the biggest things going for them was the stores involvement in the women's right movement (making this particular choice of tearoom interesting at a time when mina is currently being disregarded by the men in her life) the tearooms were one of the first public places in victorian england where women could eat alone or with women friends, without a male escort. women's social clubs would even be set up above the shops in a few rare instances. this was complicated slightly by the poor payment of women workers by the company, they did not even originally pay women workers which eventually changed when protest was raised by women who frequented the tearooms. despite this, it was recommended by women's rights activists as a good place to organize and socialize without male escorts.
not everyone liked the tearooms though. one particularly bitter opponent to the tearooms was george orwell, author of books such as animal farm and nineteen eighty four. he stated on the shops that they were a "sinister strand in English catering, the relentless industrialisation that was overtaking it...everything comes out of a carton or a tin, or is hauled out of a refrigerator or squirted out of a tap or squeezed out of a tube" also one customer in a sydney tearoom claimed to have found a mouse baked into her pie, sueing for a thousand euros. the claim was found to be faked and the judge did not rule in her favor but it was still interesting
what happened to the aerated bread company? well, it did very good for a long period of time but like all good things (or at least somewhat good things) it came to an end. nothing really interesting happened in its closing, parts of it were liquidated in other countries and it was bought by the allied bakeries in 1955. the company ceased operations fully in 1982 and now all that is left of the aerated bread company are the ghosts of signs left over the doors to other shops.
and that's the aerated bread company for the interested!
A buddy of mine saw Count Dracula move some boxes into a house in Piccadilly. He said Count Dracula had an eight-pack. That Count Dracula was shredded.
quincey morris is always ready to rumble, first person to mention vampire bats, patrols the house and grounds, and is the one person in the group that goes “hey guys maybe it would kinda look bad if we keep breaking into random houses around the city.” he also contributes to the brain cells in the group
For every 10% we raise, we’ve got a Dracula meme read by our cast to share with you. To celebrate reaching 80% funded, we’ve got this post!
Sister Agatha: Oh, finally you open your eyes, young man. What happened to you?
Jonathan Harker: DRACULA.
Sister Agatha: Beg your pardon?
Jonathan Harker: STUPID IDIOT MOTHERFUCKING VLAD DRACULA GOD DAMN FOOL BOOK COLLECTING DUST EATING RAT OLD BASTARD SHITHEAD IDIOT UNDEAD WHORE BIGGEST CLOWN IN THE CIRCUS LAUGHED OUT OF TOWN BATBOY MOTHERFUCKING VLAD DRACULA
Sister Agatha: uh-
Jonathan Harker: STOP TRYING TO STOP ME WHEN I TALK ABOUT VLAD DRACULA I HATE HIM SO MUCH WHY DOES HE HAVE SO MANY FUCKED UP BOOKS ABOUT TRAINS IN ENGLAND WHY DID HE DECIDE TO FUCK AROUND IN LIZARD FASHION IS HE DEAD IS HE A BASTARD MAN HAS SUCH A VISCERAL AFFECT ON ME NOT EVEN IN THE ROOM AND I KNOW HES GOT THE WORLD’S SHITTIEST BREATH GET AWAY FROM ME
Sister Agatha: ah-
Jonathan Harker: if i wanted to get into heaven and god said dracula’s waiting inside i would piss on gods feet for the sole purpose of getting sent back down
Sister Agatha, writing to Mina: so, physically, he’ll be okay, but uh-
Unlock the next meme by getting us to 90% funded at bit.ly/redracula!
that “Christian Kane for Quincy Morris” post wormed its way into my head months ago, but somewhere along the way it mutated into “Leverage episode but the mark is Count Dracula”
Investigative Journalist Mina Harker is the client
Dracula threatened her real estate lawyer husband and probably had her best friend and photographer Lucy killed to keep her quiet
beyond just that, there’s a combination of suspected but unprovable kidnapping, (That Jonathan may have witnessed) and a shady for-profit blood donation company
which was trying to acquire real estate near a mental hospital for definitely exploitative and shady purposes
Dracula’s castle: great heist location. Early in the getting-the-con-started phase of the episode Parker steals at least one 15th century painting and a lot of ancient gold coins
Whether Leverage mark!Dracula is actually a vampire is never 100% proven but it’s definitely implied
regardless he’s definitely metaphorically a vampire
and Parker 100% believes he is one, even making a comment on how this isn’t the first time she’s robbed a vampire
Flashback to her cracking a safe in what the props make clear is Wesley Snipes’s house
The Leverage crew pose as a medical/biological goods shipping company (Demeter Transportation) in order to con Dracula and get both his money and evidence of all the shady stuff and crimes
their fake identities for the con are Lucy’s polycule
Eliot’s Quincy, Hardison is Seward, Parker is Holmwood
Nate was supposed to be Van Helsing, but there was a hot potato job-like kerfuffle and Sophie ends up playing that role instead
which makes Nate Renfield
Classic leverage action
the big wrinkle happens when they finally get their 50 boxes full of evidence delivered and discover that Dracula isn’t just smuggling blood, he’s smuggling black market organs
they manage to recover as they always do
(probably because of Harrison coming through with hacking, as a nod to the novel’s tech themes)
Spectacular success and Interpol seizes everything
when we see Mina again post-gloat she’s on her way to wherever Interpol is holding Dracula. She’s wearing a crucifix necklace and she conspicuously tucks a wooden stake into her bag alongside the check for the liquidated value of those gold coins.
after she leaves Parker drops out of the ceiling wearing those cheap plastic vampire fangs
Everyone in London is going to find out that there's a solicitor running around the city throwing money and sometimes free alcohol at anyone who might have even the slightest information about a shockingly ripped old man and his boxes, to which I say, Jonathan, I too, may have seen an old man carrying a box or two around these streets, and I can tell you more if I wasn't so thirsty and ...
I love how Arthur actually thought to have anti-rat measures on hand when going to raid a vampire lair, and that yes, it was needed. That is some ludicrously thorough prep work right there. Let the record show that Lucy didn’t fall in love with some boring, bland nobleman. She got engaged to the Victorian-era Bruce Wayne (as portrayed by Adam West). And I for one applaud her good taste.