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Dr. John Seward is a fictional character appearing in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

In the novel

Seward is the administrator of an insane asylum not far from Count Dracula's first English home, Carfax. Throughout the novel, Seward conducts ambitious interviews with one of his patients, Renfield, in order to understand better the nature of life-consuming psychosis. As a psychiatrist, Seward enjoys using the most up-to-date equipment, including using a recording phonograph to record his interviews with his patients and his own notes. Several chapters of the novel consist of transcriptions of Seward's phonograph recordings.

He is best friends with Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood. All three propose to Lucy Westenra the same day. Although Lucy turns down Seward's marriage proposal, his love for her remains, and he dedicates himself to her care when she suddenly takes ill.

He calls in his mentor, Abraham Van Helsing, to help him with her illness, and he helps Seward to realize that Lucy has been bitten by a vampire and is doomed to become one herself. After she is officially destroyed and her soul can go to Heaven, Seward is determined to destroy Dracula. The novel's epilogue mentions that Seward is now happily married.

In adaptations

Seward often appears in different adaptations of Dracula but in a wide variety of different roles. He is often referred to as "Jack" Seward. The most common change is to portray him not as Lucy's suitor, but as her father (or sometimes Mina Harker's father). This was almost certainly based on the decision made in writing the Hamilton Deane stage adaptation. Such portrayals include:

In recent years, the trend has been to return Seward to his role in the novel, as a suitor for Lucy's hand in marriage, in:

In the 1938 Mercury Theatre radio production of Dracula, Seward's character was combined with Arthur Holmwood's and renamed Arthur Seward. He was voiced by Orson Welles, who also voiced Dracula in the adaptation.

In other works

In the alternate history novel Anno-Dracula, where Van Helsing fails and Dracula becomes the ruler of Britain, Seward becomes the murderer well known as "Jack the Ripper", whose targets are vampire prostitutes who remind him of Lucy.








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