IntroductionAbraham “Bram” Stoker wrote Dracula as well as many other gothic horror tales. He started life as a sickly child but regained his health as an adolescent and was a good athlete at Trinity College. While working in the Irish Civil Service, he reviewed several plays and worked at the Lyceum Theatre in London, which led to his interest in writing. His novel Dracula appeared in 1897. Opponents of the book said that it recounted an “unnecessary number of hideous incidents” that could “shock and disgust” readers. Parents were warned to keep the novel away from children because of the graphic horror depicted in its pages. While Stoker’s other works were well received at the time, they seem somewhat dated and melodramatic now. Except for Dracula, most have been forgotten.
- Stoker’s stories are interpreted and analyzed in many different ways, but most critics agree that they all contain an element of sexual repression.
- Stoker’s depiction of the vampire legend has been the most influential, and his Dracula has become a part of mainstream culture.
- Stoker married Florence Balcombe and had one son with her. Rumor has it that he competed with Oscar Wilde for her affections.
- Stoker and the famous Victorian actor Henry Irving had a lifelong friendship. When Irving died in 1905, Stoker is said to have suffered a stroke.
- The first film adaptation of the novel Dracula was Nosferatu. Stoker’s wife sued the filmmakers, claiming she had not been asked for permission or paid royalties.
Did this raise a question for you?