Irish Author Bram Stoker

Author Bram (short for Abraham) Stoker was born in 1847 in Dublin, Ireland. He was a weak child and was unable to even walk until the age of seven. Later on in his youth, he became a strong athlete and played soccer and football at his college in Dublin. There, he earned a degree with honors in mathematics, an unlikely major for someone who would later become a world famous novelist. Stoker was also a drama critic for a local paper, which helped propel him into his career as a writer. For ten years, he worked for the Irish Civil Service, a result of his father’s wishes. All the while, however, he had a secret passion for writing. In 1879 he wrote his first book, which was a handbook for legal administrators entitled The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. As Stoker got older, he began to become more interested in fiction writing and his first novel entitled The Snake’s Pass was published in 1890. It was a romantic thriller and faired rather well for a first time novelist. He also published a set of children’s stories entitled Under the Sunset in 1881.

In 1897, Bram Stoker published his most well-known novel, Dracula. The book was written in the form of journals and personal accounts by the main characters in the book. Stoker had a fascination with the occult as well as the supernatural, so it was no surprise that he decided to write a novel based around a main character who was shrouded in darkness and mystery. The main characters were Jonathan Harker, Wilhelmina Harker, Dr. John Seward, and Lucy Westenra, who eventually becomes a vampire herself in the novel. The story begins in Transylvania and is about a vampire who ends up in England on a quest for blood in order to survive. Eventually the cast of characters come together and are able to overpower the evil Dracula. The novel was met with great success and has spawned several plays, films, and adaptations ever since.

Bram Stoker died in April of 1912 in London, England as a result of suffering from several strokes. Rumors surrounded his death and some claimed he dealt with syphilis, but this turned out to be untrue. Two years later his widow Florence published a collection of short storied entitled Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, which many people believe had excerpts taken from the original Dracula manuscript. In 1922, the very first film adaptation of Dracula hit the big screen. This release was called Nosferatu and was produced while Stoker’s widow was still alive. She was unhappy with the fact that she had not been consulted before the film was created or released, and sued the filmmakers because she received no royalties. This lawsuit went on for several years, and she demanded that the film’s negative be destroyed. While she eventually won the case, a few copies of Nosferatu survived, and today it is considered a cult horror classic. Approximately ten years later, an official version of Dracula was filmed and starred famous horror star Bela Lugosi.

While Bram Stoker wrote several other novels, short stories, and fiction aside from Dracula, this would be his legacy and his claim to fame. He wrote quite a large collection of other books including other horror novels, but none had quite the impact that Dracula did, and he will be forever known because of it. His family lineage still boasts that he is the originator of the story of vampires, and they have vowed to continue to spread the word about his creative mind and originality. His great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker, wrote a sequel to Dracula in 2009 entitled Dracula: The Undead. This sequel was based on Stoker’s original notes and characters, and brings up plots that were written into the original manuscript. This was Dacre’s first attempt at writing and publishing. There is no doubt that the influence Bram Stoker has had on not only the writing community but the world of horror and the supernatural will live on in the hearts and minds of many generations to come.

For more information about Bram Stoker and Dracula, please refer to the following websites: