Dracula: Biography: Bram Stoker

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A civil servant and amateur drama critic and theater manager whose first published book bore the admittedly uninspiring title The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879), Abraham (Bram) Stoker (born November 8, 1847) did not begin writing fiction until late in his life. His first novel, The Snake’s Pass, saw print in 1891. His most famous novel, Dracula, followed six years after.
According to The Vampire Book (Visible Ink Press, 1999):
Stoker’s decision to write Dracula seems to have been occasioned by a nightmare, in which he experienced a vampire rising from a tomb. He had read Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla first published in 1872, several years before and had rounded out his knowledge with numerous discussions on the supernatural. To these he added his own research and modeled his main character on a fifteenth-century Transylvanian nobleman. He also decided, probably suggested by Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, to tell the story through the eyes of several different characters. In the end, the story was told through a variety of documents, from diaries to letters to newspaper clippings.
Abraham Stoker was the third of seven children.  His early years were plagued with illnesses and he was bed-ridden until the age of seven.  Miraculously he made a complete recovery and was able to lead a normal life.  He was educated in a private school and then attended Trinity College in Dublin.  There he became involved with the theater by becoming a theater critic for a newspaper, the Dublin Evening Mail.  His reviews were well written and attracted the attention of Henry Irving, a highly renowned actor.  Irving took an interest in Stoker and introduced him to London’s high society, where he met, among other notables, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related). He also hired Stoker to be his acting and business manager.  In this capacity, Stoker got the opportunity to travel around the world.
Stoker supplemented his income by writing novels.  His most successful book was the vampire tale Dracula which was published in 1897.  The story was inspired by European folklore and myths.  Stoker had a strong interest in science and medicine and Some of his novels like The Lady of the Shroud (1909) can be seen as science fiction.
Although Stoker went on to write other books, none rivaled Dracula’s success. Stoker died in London in 1912.

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