Nowadays, everyone knows at least one book title that tells the tale of a vampire. During the last few years, vampires have been the new trend in fantasy literature. More than a century ago, vampires were unheard of in literature. The only appeared in folk stories and fairy tales. The change came with Bram Stoker and his novel “Dracula.” The Gothic novel made the author and business manager famous in the 20th century. “Dracula” is now studied in schools worldwide. The book has been adapted in many movies, TV shows and even plays.
Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 in Dublin, Ireland to parents Abraham Stoker and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley. Bram Stoker had six other siblings, two older and four younger. As a child he was often bedridden. It wasn’t until he started school that he was able to make a full recovery.
When he grew up, his health recovered completely and he became an accomplished athlete. He studied mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin. As a student, Stoker was attracted to theater. Although, at that time, theater critics were held in low esteem, the quality of his reviews made him stand out. After giving a favorable review to Henry Irving’s Hamlet, the two met and became friends. Bram Stoker later became the personal assistant of Henry Irving. He also became the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London which was owned by Irving.
Bram Stoker published several stories that are less known now such as “The Crystal Cup” (1872) and “The Chain of Destiny”. In 1897, Stoker published “Dracula” after spending several years researching European folklore. The book received positive reviews and was considered by critics better that the works of Edgar Allan Poe or Mary Sheller.
Bram Stoker refers to several historical events in his novels. His actual knowledge of the events he was talking about is still a matter of debate. Most historians and scholars agree that Dracula’s story is actually based on the events surrounding Romanian ruler, Vlad the Impaler, although some inaccuracies can be seen. Others believe the character of Dracula was also inspired by Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
“Dracula” by Bram Stoker is both a classic and one of the most famous books with vampires. Its fame still lingers even a century after it was published. Several authors have been inspired by this book. Have you read it?
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