This novel is set during the Victorian Era, during a time of religious crisis. People who had been highly dedicated to the ideals of Christianity were suddenly presented with the ideas of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species.
The first part of the novel follows Jonathan Harker who is on his way to take care of a real estate deal. The reader follows him from London to Transylvania, from a city to a sparsely populated countryside. It is in these areas that folks follow a more superstitious approach to life.