Professor Van Helsing

In chapter 14 of the book, Mina Harker describes Professor Abraham Van Helsing  as:

A man of medium height, strongly built, with his shoulders set back over a broad, deep chest and a neck well balanced on the trunk as the head is on the neck. The poise of the head strikes me at once as indicative of thought and power. The head is noble, well-sized, broad, and large behind the ears. The face shows a hard, square chin, a large resolute, mobile mouth, a good-sized nose, rather straight, but with quick, sensitive nostrils, that seem to broaden as the big bushy brows come down and the mouth tightens. The forehead is broad and fine, rising at first almost straight and then sloping back above two bumps or ridges wide apart, such a forehead that the reddish hair cannot possibly tumble over it, but falls naturally back and to the sides. Big, dark blue eyes are set widely apart and are quick and tender or stern with the man's moods.

In a letter From Dr. Seward to Arthur Holmwood, in chapter 9, Van Helsing's personality is described as:

He is a seemingly arbitrary man, this is because he knows what he is talking about better than anyone else. He is a philosopher and a metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day, and he has, I believe, an absolutely open mind. This, with an iron nerve, a temper of the ice-brook, and indomitable resolution, self-command, and toleration exalted from virtues to blessings, and the kindliest and truest heart that beats, these form his equipment for the noble work that he is doing for mankind, work both in theory and practice, for his views are as wide as his all-embracing sympathy.

Throughout the novel, Van Helsing is described as having what is apparently a thick foreign accent, in that he speaks in broken English and he uses German phrases such as "Mein Gott"

According to Leonard Wolf's annotations to the novel, Van Helsing had a son who died. Van Helsing says that his son, had he lived, would have had a similar appearance to Lucy's suitor Arthur Holmwood. Consequently, Van Helsing developed a particular fondness for Holmwood. Van Helsing's wife went insane from grief after their son's death, but as a Catholic, he refuses to divorce her ("with my poor wife dead to me, but alive by Church's law, though no wits, all gone, even I, who am faithful husband to this now-no-wife").

GEAR
Van Helsing carries a spare set of clothes and his toiletries in his leather grip.


He also carries a good-sized rucksack over his shoulders with his books, his cigars, his maps and various instruments carefully tucked away inside.













On his person, he carries a pocket pistol and in his hand a sword cane. There is a pen knife in his waistcoat pocket attached to a gold watch on a chain.