"our scientific, matter-of-fact nineteenth century"
by cm

The 19th century was indeed characterised by a plethora of scientific advances.  The electric motor, natural selection, the periodic table, vaccines, the telephone, genetics, radio and the light bulb were all 19th century discoveries.  Older technologies, including steam-powered rail transport, the internal combustion engine and steelmaking were refined and much more widely applied in the 19th century.

Liberty Leading the People (1830), a classic of the Romantic school
Public DomainLiberty Leading the People (1830), a classic of the Romantic school - Credit: Eugène Delacroix

However whether the 19th century was particularly "matter-of-fact" is debatable.  The Age of Enlightenment, which saw reason and scientific knowledge triumph over faith and superstition, had its roots in the late 17th century, and was more or less over by the end of the 18th century.  The murderous terror of the French Revolution, widely seen as a product of the Enlightenment, led many to turn against it.  In its place, a new Romantic movement sought to balance the dominance of rationality with a celebration of the intuitive, emotional and spiritual.  Artists, writers and composers created works founded in feeling, passion and untamed nature.

By the time of Dracula, the Romantic era was long over, sunk beneath the remorseless advance of the Industrial Age.  And yet the book itself, in its portrayal of primeval horror and superstition, is itself very much a product of Romanticism.