ABRAHAM "BRAM" STOKER (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an
Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel
During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of
Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in
London, which Irving owned.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Early career
* 3 Lyceum Theatre
* 4 Writings
* 5 Death
* 6 Beliefs and philosophy
* 7 Posthumous
* 8 Bibliography
* 8.1 Novels
* 8.2 Short story collections
* 8.3 Uncollected stories
* 8.4 Non-fiction
* 8.5 Articles
* 8.6 Critical works on Stoker
* 8.7 Bibliographies
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf ,
on the northside of
Dublin , Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker
Dublin and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley
(1818–1901), who was raised in
County Sligo . Stoker was the third
of seven children, the eldest of whom was Sir Thornley Stoker , 1st
Bt. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland
Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children,
who were baptised there.
Stoker was bedridden with an unknown illness until he started school
at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Of this time,
Stoker wrote, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long
illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful
according to their kind in later years." He was educated in a private
school run by the Rev. William Woods.
After his recovery, he grew up without further serious illnesses,
even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at
Dublin , which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He
graduated with honours as a B.A. in Mathematics. He was auditor of the
College Historical Society (the Hist) and president of the University
Philosophical Society , where his first paper was on Sensationalism in
Fiction and Society.
Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through his
friend Dr. Maunsell. He became the theatre critic for the Dublin
Evening Mail , co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Sheridan Le Fanu
. Theatre critics were held in low esteem, but he attracted notice by
the quality of his reviews. In December 1876, he gave a favourable
review of Henry Irving's
Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin. Irving
invited Stoker for dinner at the
Shelbourne Hotel where he was
staying, and they became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and "The
Crystal Cup" was published by the
London Society in 1872, followed by
"The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876 while a
civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote the non-fiction book The Duties
of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (published 1879) which remained
a standard work. Furthermore, he possessed an interest in art, and
was a founder of the
Dublin Sketching Club in 1879.
Bram Stoker's former home,
Kildare Street ,
In 1878 Stoker married
Florence Balcombe , daughter of
Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent. She was a
celebrated beauty whose former suitor was
Oscar Wilde . Stoker had
known Wilde from his student days, having proposed him for membership
of the university’s Philosophical Society while he was president.
Wilde was upset at Florence's decision, but Stoker later resumed the
acquaintanceship, and after Wilde's fall visited him on the Continent.
The first edition cover of
The Stokers moved to London, where Stoker became acting manager and
then business manager of Irving 's Lyceum Theatre,
London , a post he
held for 27 years. On 31 December 1879, Bram and Florence's only child
was born, a son whom they christened Irving Noel Thornley Stoker. The
Henry Irving was important for Stoker and through
him he became involved in London's high society , where he met James
Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was
distantly related). Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his
time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in
Stoker a notable if busy man. He was dedicated to Irving and his
memoirs show he idolised him. In
London Stoker also met
Hall Caine ,
who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated
Dracula to him.
In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker travelled the world, although
he never visited
Eastern Europe , a setting for his most famous novel.
Stoker enjoyed the United States, where Irving was popular. With
Irving he was invited twice to the
White House , and knew William
Theodore Roosevelt . Stoker set two of his novels there,
using Americans as characters, the most notable being
Quincey Morris .
He also met one of his literary idols,
Walt Whitman .
Bram Stoker Commemorative Plaque,
Whitby , England
Stoker visited the English coastal town of
Whitby in 1890, and that
visit is said to be part of the inspiration for
Dracula . He began
writing novels while manager for
Henry Irving and secretary and
director of London's Lyceum Theatre, beginning with The Snake\'s Pass
in 1890 and
Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was part of
the literary staff of
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph in London, and he wrote
other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud
The Lair of the White Worm (1911). He published his
Personal Reminiscences of
Henry Irving in 1906, after Irving's death,
which proved successful, and managed productions at the Prince of
Wales Theatre .
Before writing Dracula, Stoker met
Ármin Vámbéry , a Hungarian
writer and traveller.
Dracula likely emerged from Vámbéry's dark
stories of the
Carpathian mountains . Stoker then spent several years
researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires .
The 1972 book In Search of
Radu Florescu and Raymond
McNally claimed that the Count in Stoker's novel was based Vlad III
Dracula. At most however, Stoker borrowed only the name and "scraps
of miscellaneous information" about Romanian history, according to one
expert, Elizabeth Miller ; as well, and there are no comments about
Vlad III in the author's working notes.
Dracula is an epistolary novel , written as a collection of realistic
but completely fictional diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's
logs, and newspaper clippings, all of which added a level of detailed
realism to the story, a skill which Stoker had developed as a
newspaper writer. At the time of its publication,
considered a "straightforward horror novel" based on imaginary
creations of supernatural life. "It gave form to a universal fantasy
. . . and became a part of popular culture."
Stoker was a deeply private man, but his almost sexless marriage,
intense adoration of
Walt Whitman ,
Henry Irving and
Hall Caine , and
shared interests with
Oscar Wilde , as well as the homoerotic aspects
Dracula have led to scholarly speculation that he was a repressed
homosexual who used his fiction as an outlet for his sexual
frustrations. In 1912, he demanded imprisonment of all homosexual
authors in Britain: it has been suggested that this was due to
self-loathing and to disguise his own vulnerability. A friend of
Wilde, Stoker commenced writing
Dracula only weeks after his
conviction, possibly fearful and inspired by the monstrous image and
threat of otherness that the press coverage of the Wilde trials
According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, Stoker's stories
are today included in the categories of "horror fiction",
"romanticized Gothic" stories, and "melodrama." They are classified
alongside other "works of popular fiction" such as
Mary Shelley 's
Frankenstein , :394 which also used the "myth-making" and
story-telling method of having multiple narrators telling the same
tale from different perspectives, according to historian Jules Zanger.
"'They can't all be lying,' thinks the reader."
The original 541-page typescript of
Dracula was believed to have been
lost until it was found in a barn in northwestern Pennsylvania in the
early 1980s. It consisted of typed sheets with many emendations, plus
handwritten on the title page was "THE UN-DEAD." The author's name was
shown at the bottom as Bram Stoker. Author Robert Latham remarked:
"the most famous horror novel ever published, its title changed at the
last minute." The typescript was purchased by
Paul Allen .
Stoker's inspirations for the story, in addition to Whitby, may have
included a visit to Slains Castle in
Aberdeenshire , a visit to the
crypts of St. Michan\'s Church in Dublin, and the novella
Sheridan Le Fanu .
Stoker's original research notes for the novel are kept by the
Rosenbach Museum and Library in
Philadelphia . A facsimile edition of
the notes was created by Elizabeth Miller and Robert Eighteen-Bisang
Urn which contains Stoker's ashes in
Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium
After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St
George\'s Square ,
London on 20 April 1912. Some biographers
attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis , others to
overwork. He was cremated , and his ashes were placed in a display
Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium in north London. The ashes of Irving
Noel Stoker, the author's son, were added to his father's urn
following his death in 1961. The original plan had been to keep his
parents' ashes together, but after Florence Stoker's death, her ashes
were scattered at the Gardens of Rest.
BELIEFS AND PHILOSOPHY
Stoker was raised a Protestant in the
Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland . He was a
strong supporter of the Liberal Party and took a keen interest in
Irish affairs. As a "philosophical home ruler," he supported Home
Rule for Ireland brought about by peaceful means. He remained an
ardent monarchist who believed that Ireland should remain within the
British Empire, an entity that he saw as a force for good. He was an
admirer of Prime Minister
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone , whom he knew
personally, and supported his plans for Ireland.
Stoker believed in progress and took a keen interest in science and
science-based medicine . Some Stoker novels represent early examples
of science fiction , such as
The Lady of the Shroud (1909). He had a
writer's interest in the occult, notably mesmerism , but despised
fraud and believed in the superiority of the scientific method over
superstition. Stoker counted among his friends J. W. Brodie-Innis, a
member of the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , and hired member
Pamela Colman Smith as an artist for the Lyceum Theatre, but no
evidence suggests that Stoker ever joined the Order himself.
The short story collection Dracula\'s Guest and Other Weird Stories
was published in 1914 by Stoker's widow, Florence Stoker, who was also
his literary executrix. The first film adaptation of
Dracula was F. W.
Nosferatu , released in 1922, with
Max Schreck starring as
Count Orlock. Florence Stoker eventually sued the filmmakers, and was
represented by the attorneys of the British Incorporated Society of
Authors. Her chief legal complaint was that she had neither been asked
for permission for the adaptation nor paid any royalty. The case
dragged on for some years, with Mrs. Stoker demanding the destruction
of the negative and all prints of the film. The suit was finally
resolved in the widow's favour in July 1925. A single print of the
film survived, however, and it has become well known. The first
authorised film version of
Dracula did not come about until almost a
decade later when
Universal Studios released
Tod Browning 's Dracula
Bela Lugosi .
Dacre Stoker , a great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker,
decided to write "a sequel that bore the Stoker name" to "reestablish
creative control over" the original novel, with encouragement from
screenwriter Ian Holt, because of the Stokers' frustrating history
with Dracula's copyright. In 2009, Dracula: The Un-Dead was released,
Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. Both writers "based on Bram
Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised
from the original edition" along with their own research for the
sequel. This also marked Dacre Stoker's writing debut.
In Spring 2012,
Dacre Stoker (in collaboration with Prof. Elizabeth
Miller) presented the "lost"
Dublin Journal written by Bram Stoker,
which had been kept by his great-grandson Noel Dobbs. Stoker's diary
entries shed a light on the issues that concerned him before his
London years. A remark about a boy who caught flies in a bottle might
be a clue for the later development of the
Renfield character in
On 8 November 2012, Stoker was honoured with a
Google Doodle on
Google's homepage commemorating his 165th birthday.
An annual festival takes place in Dublin, the birthplace of Bram
Stoker, in honour of his literary achievements. The 2014 Bram Stoker
Festival encompassed literary, film, family, street, and outdoor
events, and ran from 24–27 October in and around
Dublin City. The
festival is supported by the
Bram Stoker Estate and funded by Dublin
City Council and
Fáilte Ireland .
* The Snake\'s Pass (1890)
* Seven Golden Buttons (1891)
* The Watter\'s Mou\' (1895)
The Shoulder of Shasta (1895)
Miss Betty (1898)
The Mystery of the Sea (1902)
The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903)
* The Man (a.k.a.
The Gates of Life ) (1905)
Lady Athlyne (1908)
The Lady of the Shroud (1909)
The Lair of the White Worm (a.k.a. The Garden of Evil ) (1911)
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
Under the Sunset (1881), comprising eight fairy tales for
* Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party (1908)
* Dracula\'s Guest and Other Weird Stories (1914)
DATE OF EARLIEST APPEARANCE
"The Crystal Cup "
London Society (London)
"Buried Treasures "
13 March 1875 and 20 March 1875
The Shamrock (Dublin)
"The Chain of Destiny "
1 May 1875 and 22 May 1875
The Shamrock (Dublin)
"Our New House "
20 December 1895
Boston Herald (Boston)
"The Dualitists; or, The Death Doom of the Double Born "
The Theatre Annual (London)
"The Gombeen Man "
xx/xx/1889 – xx/xx/1890
The People (London)
Chapter 3 of The Snake\'s Pass
"The Night of the Shifting Bog "
Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review Vol. VI. No. 1.
(New York )
"Lord Castleton Explains "
30 January 1892
The Gentlewoman: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Gentlewomen
Chapter 10 of
The Fate of Fenella (Hutchinson , 1892)
"Old Hogen: A Mystery "
"The Man from Shorrox "
The Pall Mall Magazine (
"The Red Stockade "
The Cosmopolitan: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine (
"When the Sky Rains Gold "
"At the Watter\'s Mou "
Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review Vol. XVIII. No.
5. (New York )
"Bengal Roses "
"A Yellow Duster "
7 May 1899
Lloyd\'s Weekly Newspaper (
"A Young Widow "
"A Baby Passenger "
"Lucky Escapes of Sir
Henry Irving "
"The Seer "
The Mystery of the Sea (New York : Doubleday , Page & Co. )
Chapters 1 and 2 of
The Mystery of the Sea
"The Bridal of Death "
The Jewel of the Seven Stars (
William Heinemann )
Alternate ending to
The Jewel of Seven Stars
"What They Confessed: A Low Comedian\'s Story "
The Way of Peace "
Everybody\'s Story Magazine (
"The \'Eroes of the Thames "
The Royal Magazine (
"Greater Love "
London Magazine (
* The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879)
* A Glimpse of America (1886)
* Personal Reminiscences of
Henry Irving (1906)
Famous Impostors (1910)
* Great Ghost Stories (1998) (Compiled by Peter Glassman ,
Barry Moser )
* Bram Stoker\'s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition (2008) Bram
Stoker Annotated and Transcribed by
Robert Eighteen-Bisang and
Elizabeth Miller , Foreword by Michael Barsanti . Jefferson, NC
-webkit-column-width: 25em; column-width: 25em; list-style-type:
* ^ Belford, Barbara (2002).
Bram Stoker and the Man Who Was
Dracula. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press. p. 17. ISBN 0-306-81098-0 .
* ^ Murray, Paul (2004). From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram
Stoker. Random House. p. 11. ISBN 0224044621 .
* ^ His siblings were: Sir (William) Thornley Stoker, born in 1845;
Mathilda, born 1846; Thomas, born 1850; Richard, born 1852; Margaret,
born 1854; and George, born 1855
* ^ A B C D Obituary, Irish Times, 23 April 1912
* ^ Irish Times, 8 March 1882, page 5
* ^ "Why
Dracula never loses his bite". Irish Times. 28 March 2009.
* ^ A B C D Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale Research (1998)
vol 8. pgs. 461–464
* ^ "Vampires - Top 10 Famous Mysterious Monsters - TIME".
TIME.com. 14 August 2009.
"Coming Out Of The Coffin", The New Inquiry, 24 August 2012
* ^ "Coming Out Of The Coffin", The New Inquiry, 24 August 2012
* ^ "Coming Out Of The Coffin", The New Inquiry, 24 August 2012
* ^ Schaffer, Talia "A Wilde Desire Took Me: The Homoerotic History
of Dracula", ELH, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Summer, 1994), pp. 381-425
* ^ A B Latham, Robert.
Science Fiction ">\'". WSJ.
* ^ Boylan, Henry (1998). A Dictionary of Irish Biography, 3rd
Edition. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan. p. 412. ISBN 0-7171-2945-4 .
* ^ "Bram Stoker". Victorian Web. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 12
* ^ Gibson, Peter (1985). The Capital Companion. Webb & Bower. pp.
365–366. ISBN 0-86350-042-0 .
* ^ The Discussion (Third ed.). Grade Eight – Bram Stoker: Oberon
Books (for The
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts). 2004. p.
97. ISBN 1-84002-431-3 .
* ^ Murray, Paul. From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram
* ^ "Shadowplay Pagan and Magick webzine – HERMETIC HORRORS".
Shadowplayzine.com. 16 September 1904. Archived from the original on 9
November 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
* ^ Ravenscroft, Trevor (1982). The occult power behind the spear
which pierced the side of Christ. Red Wheel. p. 165. ISBN
* ^ Picknett, Lynn (2004). The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians
of the True Identity of Christ. Simon and Schuster. p. 201. ISBN
* ^ Dracula: The Un-Dead by
Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
* '^ DRACULA: THE UNDEADs overview
* ^ Stoker, Bram. Bram Stoker’s Lost
Dublin Journal, ed. by
Stoker, Dacre and Miller, Elizabeth. London: Biteback Press, 2012
* ^ "Bram Stoker\'s 165th Birthday".
* ^ Doyle, Carmel (8 November 2012). "
Bram Stoker books: gothic