Abraham "Bram" Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.
Stoker, circa 1906
8 November 1847
Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
|Died||20 April 1912 (aged 64)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
|Period||Victorian era, Edwardian era|
|Genre||Gothic fiction, romantic fiction|
|Literary movement||Dark romanticism|
|Spouse||Florence Balcombe (m. 1878–1912; his death)|
|Children||Irving Noel Thornley Stoker|
Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker (1799–1876) from 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, and Abraham was a senior civil servant.
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, participating in multiple sports) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with a BA in 1870, and purchased his MA in 1875. Though he later in life recalled graduating "with honours in mathematics," this appears to have been a mistake. 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. While working for the Irish Civil Service, he became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, which was co-owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, an author of Gothic tales. 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.
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 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 collaboration with 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 London made 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 McKinley and 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.
Stoker visited the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, and that visit was said to be part of the inspiration for Dracula. He began writing novels while working as 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 in London, 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.
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 Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally claimed that the Count in Stoker's novel was based on 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; further, 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, Dracula was 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 of 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. Possibly fearful, and inspired by the monstrous image and threat of otherness that the press coverage of his friend Oscar's trials generated, Stoker began writing Dracula only weeks after Wilde's conviction.
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 and 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 Microsoft co-founder 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 Carmilla by 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 in 1998.
Stoker was at member of The London Library and it is here that he conducted much of the research for Dracula. In 2018 the Library discovered some of the books that Stoker used for his research, complete with notes and marginalia.
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 urn at 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.
Stoker was raised a Protestant in the 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, 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. Murnau's Nosferatu, released in 1922, with Max Schreck starring as Count Orlok. 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 starring Bela Lugosi.
Canadian writer 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, written by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. Both writers "based [their work] 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 Dracula.
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.
|Title||Date of earliest appearance||Earliest appearance||Novelisation|
|"The Crystal Cup"||xx/09/1872||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"||xx/xx/1887||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"||xx/01/1891||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 (London)||Chapter 10 of The Fate of Fenella (Hutchinson, 1892)|
|"Old Hoggen: A Mystery"||xx/xx/1893|
|"The Man from Shorrox"||xx/02/1894||The Pall Mall Magazine (London)|
|"The Red Stockade"||xx/09/1894||The Cosmopolitan: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine (London)|
|"When the Sky Rains Gold"||xx/xx/1894|
|"At the Watter's Mou"||xx/11/1895||Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review Vol. XVIII. No. 5. (New York)|
|"A Yellow Duster"||7 May 1899||Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London)|
|"A Young Widow"||xx/xx/1899|
|"A Baby Passenger"||xx/xx/1899|
|"Lucky Escapes of Sir Henry Irving"||xx/xx/1890|
|"The Seer"||xx/xx/1902||The Mystery of the Sea (New York: Doubleday, Page & Co.)||Chapters 1 and 2 of The Mystery of the Sea|
|"The Bridal of Death"||xx/xx/1903||The Jewel of the Seven Stars (London: William Heinemann)||Alternate ending to The Jewel of Seven Stars|
|"What They Confessed: A Low Comedian's Story"||xx/xx/1908|
|"The Way of Peace"||xx/xx/1909||Everybody's Story Magazine (London)|
|"The 'Eroes of the Thames"||xx/10/1908||The Royal Magazine (London)|
|"Greater Love"||xx/10/1914||The London Magazine (London)|
He then worked for the Irish Civil Service while writing theater reviews for a Dublin newspaper on the side.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1993 pinball machine released by Williams. It is based in the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula.Bram Stoker Award
The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented annually by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in dark fantasy and horror writing.Bram Stoker Award for Best Alternative Forms
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Alternative Forms is a discontinued award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing in alternative media.Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for an anthology.Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for best fiction collection.Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel
The Bram Stoker Award for First Novel is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for an author's first horror novel.Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative
Nominees are listed below the winner(s) for each year.
1998: (no award)
Sergio Aragones' Dia de las Muertos (Day of the Dead) by Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier
Preacher by Garth Ennis
The Son of Man (Hellblazer 129-133) by Garth Ennis
The Dreaming: Trial and Error by Len Wein
1999: The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman
Jonah Hex: Shadows West #1 by Joe R. Lansdale
Hellboy: Box Full of Evil by Mike Mignola
Faust: Book of M by David Quinn (art by Tim Vigil)
2000: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (miniseries) by Alan Moore
Cable 79-84 by Robert Weinberg
"Spuds" (Night Terrors #1) by Bernie Wrightson
2001: (no award)
"Freezes Over" (Hellblazer 158-161) by Brian Azzarello
"The First Adventures of Miss Catterina Poe" (The Dreaming 56) by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Desperadoes: Quiet of the Grave by Jeff Mariotte
"Quiver" (Green Arrow 1-10) by Kevin Smith
Weird Western Tales by Various Authors
2002: Nightside (Issues 1-4) by Robert Weinberg
Howard the Duck (Issues 1-6) by Steve Gerber
Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained (Issues 1-4) by Peter Lenkov
2003: The Sandman: Endless Nights (collection) by Neil Gaiman
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume Two by Alan Moore
Kolchak: "Devil in the Details" by Stefan Petrucha
Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce edited by Tom Pomplun
Vampire the Masqerade Giovanni — The Machiavelli Conundrum by Robert Weinberg
2004: Heaven's Devils by Jai Nitz
Lost Loves by James Lowder
Aleister Arcane by Steve Niles
Graphic Classics: Robert Louis Stevenson by Tom PomplunBram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for long fiction.Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for non-fiction.Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for best screenplay.Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers
The Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers is a discontinued award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for young readers.Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement
The Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement annually recognizes one to three living artists for "superior achievement in an entire career" which has "substantially influenced the horror genre". It is conferred by the Horror Writers Association, and most winners have been horror fiction writers, but other creative occupations are eligible.The Bram Stoker Awards, including the lifetime honor in particular, were established along with the Association itself in 1987. They are presented in the year following the award year, which is the publication year for most of the awards program.
The winners are selected by the annual Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, which comprises five HWA members appointed by the President. Unlike the literary awards, which are determined by vote of all members, there are no official runners-up.Clive Barker and Robert McCammon were named winners of the Lifetime Award for 2012 on February 7, 2013, presented on June 15 at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans.Bram Stoker Award for Novel
The Bram Stoker Award for Novel is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for novels.Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction
The Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction is an award presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing for short fiction.Cemetery Dance Publications
Cemetery Dance Publications is a specialty press publisher of horror and dark suspense. Cemetery Dance was founded by Richard Chizmar, a horror author, while he was in college. It is associated with Cemetery Dance magazine, which was founded in 1988. They began to publish books in 1992. They later expanded to encompass a magazine and website featuring news, interviews, and reviews related to horror literature.
Cemetery Dance Publications is best known for their high quality hardcover releases. These are usually available as collectible autographed limited editions and lettered editions.Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula, and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel, and invasion literature. The novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations.Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories
Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories is a collection of short stories by Bram Stoker, first published in 1914, two years after Stoker's death.
The same collection has been issued under short titles including simply Dracula's Guest. Meanwhile, collections published under Dracula's Guest and longer titles contain different selections of stories.List of awards and nominations received by Stephen King
Stephen King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, crime fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television shows, and comic books. King has published 54 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman and six non-fiction books. He has written nearly 200 short stories, most of which have been collected in book collections.
King has received multiple awards and nominations for his work, including multiple Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards as well as the National Medal of Arts, Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the O. Henry Award. He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire oeuvre, such as the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (2004), the Canadian Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America (2007).Stephen King bibliography
The following is a complete list of books published by Stephen King, an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many of them have been adapted into feature films, television movies and comic books. King has published 59 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has written over 200 short stories, most of which have been compiled in book collections. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.