Authors: Bram Stoker

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018

Irish novelist

November 8, 1847

Dublin, Ireland

April 20, 1912

London, England

Biography

Abraham “Bram” Stoker, famous for his sensational novel, Dracula, was a sickly child, so weak that he was unable to stand up unaided until the age of seven. He outgrew his childhood weakness, however, and became a champion athlete while at Dublin University, from which he graduated in 1867. For the next ten years he worked as an Irish civil servant. From 1871 to 1876 Stoker served as an unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Mail, work which won for him the friendship of the actor Henry Irving (1838–1905). As a result of their friendship, Stoker served as Irving’s manager for many years.

Bram Stoker.

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

After touring America with Irving, Stoker wrote a series of lectures about life in the United States to deliver to English audiences. The success of the lectures when printed in pamphlet form caused Stoker to consider other kinds of writing. Dracula appeared in 1897. The novel, written in the form of journal entries and letters, tells of the vampire Count Dracula’s attempt to spread his evil to London and his eventual defeat. The tale has been produced on stage and in several film adaptations. The work represents a late nineteenth-century development of the earlier gothic novel, and its marked success stimulated other authors to imitate the type. Other works by Stoker worth noting are The Jewel of Seven Stars and The Lair of the White Worm, both novels, and Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, which recounts Stoker’s life with Irving and with the Lyceum Theatre. During his last years Stoker was also on the literary staff of the London Telegraph.

Author Works Long Fiction: The Snake’s Pass, 1890 Dracula, 1897 The Mystery of the Sea, 1902 The Jewel of Seven Stars, 1904 The Lady of the Shroud, 1909 The Lair of the White Worm, 1911 Nonfiction: The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, 1879 Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, 1906 Bibliography Bedford, Barbara. Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of “Dracula.” New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Hughes, William. Beyond “Dracula”: Bram Stoker’s Fiction and Its Cultural Context. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Hughes, William, and Andrew Smith, eds. Bram Stoker: History, Psychoanalysis, and the Gothic. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. Senf, Carol A. Dracula: Between Tradition and Modernism. New York: Twayne, 1998. Senf, Carol A, ed. The Critical Response to Bram Stoker. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993. Valente, Joseph. Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

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