Dracula is an epistolary Gothic horror novel written in 1897 by Bram Stoker, an Irish author who became famous after writing about the vampire named Count Dracula, who later on had many interpretations (theater, movie and television). Stoker visited the seaside town of Whitby in England in 1890 and found inspiration for his excellent novel […]
Abraham "Bram" Stoker (1847 - 1912) was an Irish author, who is best known nowadays for his Gothic novel Dracula, written in 1897.
He was born in 1847 in Dublin (Ireland) and was the son of a civil servant (Abraham Stoker) and writer and charity worker (Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley) who used to tell her son fantastic tales. Stoker had an unknown illness until he went to a private school when he was of seven, fully recovered. He then went to study maths at Trinity College, graduated in 1867 and then joined the civil service.
He also worked as a drama critic and freelance journalist, when he met the legendary actor Henry Irving. They became good and lifelong friends, and Stoker was the manager of Irving's theater from 1878 until the actor's death in 1905. Stoker married Florence Balcombe, an aspiring actress and had one son, Noel, born in 1879.
Stoker then moved to London in order to manage Irving's theater and entered the literary circles of this city that included writers such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde. Stoker's early works included short stories for children, then he wrote his first novel, The Snake's Pass (1890), unsuccessful. He became famous in 1897 when he published Dracula, considered to be his best literary achievement, printed continuously since it was first published, and inspiring many films and other works.
Stoker wrote until his death in 1912, producing a few adventure novels, among which The Jewel of Seven Stars (1904) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911). He was an auditor at the College Historical Society. He also was president of the University Philosophical Society, his first paper being on Sensationalism in Fiction and Society. Stoker was a theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, wrote stories (The Crystal Cup - published in 1872, followed by The Chain of Destiny), the non-fiction work The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879) which remained a standard work, and possessed an interest in art, being the founder of the Dublin Sketching Club (1874). He also wrote the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Liar of the White Worm (1911). After Irving's death, he published Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving in 1906, and managed successful productions for the Prince of Wales Theatre.
After suffering several strokes, Stoker died in 1912. Some biographers claim that he died of tertiary syphilis, others attribute the cause to overwork. After being cremated, his ashes were placed in an urn at the Golders Green Crematorium.