Bram Stoker

(1847 – 1912)

Bram StokerBiographical Sketch

Abraham “Bram” Stoker (Dublin, Ireland, November 8, 1847 – London, England, April 20, 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and business manager of London’s Lyceum Theatre, which Irving owned.

Stoker began writing novels while working as manager for Irving and secretary and director of the Lyceum, beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was also part of the literary staff of The Daily Telegraph , and he wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and 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.

Stoker visited the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, and that visit was likely part of the inspiration for Dracula. Further inspiration probably was provided by a visit to Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, a visit to the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin, and the novella Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu. Before beginning to writing Dracula, Stoker had also met Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian-Jewish writer and traveller (born in Szent-György; then Kingdom of Hungary, now Svätý Jur, Slovakia). The figure of Dracula likely emerged from Vámbéry’s dark stories of the Carpathian mountains. Stoker spent several years researching Central and East European folklore and mythological stories of vampires. The 1972 book In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally claimed that the Count in Stoker’s novel was based on Vlad III Dracula (“Vlad the Impaler”). There are, however, 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, Dracula was considered a “straightforward horror novel” based on imaginary creations of supernatural life. The novel’s original 541-page typescript 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 and handwritten on the title page was “THE UN-DEAD.” The author’s name was shown at the bottom as Bram Stoker. The typescript was subsequently purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. 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 in 1998.

Read more about Bram Stoker on Wikipedia.

 

Bibliography

Novels
  • The Primrose Path (1875)
  • The Snake’s Pass (1890)
  • The Watter’s Mou’ (1895)
  • The Shoulder of Shasta (1895)
  • Dracula (1897)
  • Miss Betty (1898)
  • The Mystery of the Sea (1902)
  • The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903)
    – Revised in 1912.
  • The Man (1905)
    (AKA The Gates of Life)
  • Lady Athlyne (1908)
  • The Lady of the Shroud (1909)
  • The Lair of the White Worm (1911)
    (AKA The Garden of Evil)
  • Seven Golden Buttons (2015)
    – Originally written in 1891, much material reused in Miss Betty; posthumously published.
Short Stories
  • The Crystal Cup (1872)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in London Society.
  • Buried Treasures (1875)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Shamrock.
  • The Chain of Destiny (1875)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Shamrock.
  • Under the Sunset (1881)
    – Collection of eight fairy tales for children.
  • The Dualitists; or, The Death Doom of the Double Born (1887)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Theatre Annual.
  • The Gombeen Man (1889 – 1890)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The People. Novelized n chapter 3 of The Snake’s Pass.
  • Lucky Escapes of Sir Henry Irving (1890)
  • The Judge’s House (1891)
  • The Night of the Shifting Bog (1891)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in Current Literature, Vol. VI. No. 1.
  • Lord Castleton Explains (1892)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Gentlewoman. Novelized in chapter 10 of The Fate of Fenella.
  • Old Hoggen: A Mystery (1893)
  • The Man from Shorrox (1894)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Pall Mall Magazine.
  • The Red Stockade (1894)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Cosmopolitan.
  • When the Sky Rains Gold (1894)
  • At the Watter’s Mou (1895)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in Current Literature, Vol. XVIII. No. 5.
  • Our New House (1895)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in Boston Herald.
  • Bengal Roses (1898)
  • A Yellow Duster (1899)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper.
  • A Young Widow (1899)
  • A Baby Passenger (1899)
  • The Seer (1902)
    – Also appeared as chapters 1 and 2 of The Mystery of the Sea.
  • The Bridal of Death (1903)
    – Alternate ending to The Jewel of the Sea.
  • Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party (1908)
    – Story collection.
  • What They Confessed: A Low Comedian’s Story (1908)
  • The Way of Peace (1909)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in Everybody’s Story Magazine.
  • The ‘Eroes of the Thames (1908)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The Royal Magazine.
  • Greater Love (1914)
    – Stand-alone short story; first published in The London Magazine.
  • Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories (1914)
    – Story collection.
  • Great Ghost Stories (1998)
    – Compiled by Peter Glassman; Illustrated by Barry Moser. Contains Stoker’s story The Judge’s House (1891).
Nonfiction
  • The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879)
  • A Glimpse of America (1886)
  • Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving (1906)
  • The Question of a National Theatre
    – In: The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. LXIII, January/June 1908.
  • Mr. De Morgan’s Habits of Work
    – In: The World’s Work, Vol. XVI, May/October 1908.
  • The Censorship of Fiction
    – In: The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. LXIV, July/December 1908.
  • The Censorship of Stage Plays
    – In: The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. LXVI, July/December 1909.
  • Famous Impostors (1910)
  • Irving and Stage Lightning
    – In: The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. LXIX, January/June 1911.
  • Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition (2008)
    – Annotated and Transcribed by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller; foreword by Michael Barsanti.
Online editions of Bram Stoker’s works:

 

A Favorite Quote

Dracula

“We learn from failure, not from success!”

Find more quotes by Bram Stoker on Wikiquote and Goodreads.

 

Links

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