My aunt and cousin bought me a DVD boxset about Vampires for my birthday this year. It contains six DVDs and I have nearly watched them all. Last night I took a look at the Biography Channel’s documentary on Bram Stoker which was included in the set – a biographical movie on a writer and we all know how much I love those!
Bram Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847. Stoker was a sickly child, paralysed by a mysterious illness, and he didn’t walk until the age of seven. He was introduced to scary stories by his mother, who told him tales of Irish folklore and mythology while Stoker was bedridden. He entered college at Trinity at sixteen years old, studying hard, joining the drama and debating societies, and also becoming a star athlete. After graduating, Stoker took a job in the civil service but found an outlet for his theatrical side by writing theatre reviews for an Irish newspaper.
Through reviewing, Bram struck up a friendship with famed actor Henry Irving and moved to London to become acting manager and then business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre. Despite being snowed under with work at the Lyceum he still found time to write and publish collections of short stories and novels, however Stoker’s other work doesn’t measure up to the genius of Dracula and none of them are considered classics.
It took Stoker seven years to write Dracula and it was finally published in 1897. Although it sold well it never became a huge success in his lifetime. With the first film adaptation of Dracula in 1922, Nosferatu, the novel started to gain the iconic status that it has nowadays. Given that Stoker was so closely involved with the theatre perhaps Dracula needed to be adapted for stage and screen in order for the novel to be fully appreciated.
Stoker died in 1912 and was cremated. His remains are in Golders Green cemetary in London and if you want to visit it’s possible, however visitors must be escorted to the room in which the urn is housed for fear of vandalism!