I work in Battersea and sometimes go for a walk along the Thames there at lunchtime. It’s not the most picturesque stretch of the river, but there is a nice little church there with a friendly graveyard; by which I mean that it has benches for people to sit upon and contemplate their mortality.
A little research shows there has been a church on the site since around 800AD, that William Blake was married there, and that J.M.W. Turner used to paint scenes of the river from the vestry window.
I might summon up the courage to actually set foot inside one day and explore further.
If I’m not the biggest Dracula aficionado in the world, then at least I’m probably the biggest one in my particular post code area. And so it was particularly interesting for me to come across the news that the iconic St. Mary’s Church in Whitby is now under threat.
What I found of most interest are the possibilities that this might have provided for Stoker had it happened before he had written his magnum opus. The every idea that the cliff is collapsing and that bones from the graveyard might now start raining down onto the town below would surely have provided another great horrific scene for the book?
Perhaps the harbour master might have been introduced as another contributor to its epistolary narrative. Imagine a stormy night, with the wind howling and the night sky criss-crossed with lightning. The Russian ship, Demeter, has just run aground, spilling its cargo and revealing that its entire crew is missing. As the townsfolk attempt to rescue survivors and to salvage the flotsam, the call comes from back in the town that the dead are now raining down upon their homes.