Bram Stoker was most popular for his vampire novel Dracula. Here are 19 facts about the amazing author that you probably didn’t know.
(Sources: writeveriday.blogspot.com & telegraph.co.uk)
He Created the Greatest Anti-Hero
Stoker’s Dracula is the most adapted villain in a work of fiction. There are more than 217 Dracula films and 1,000 plus books featuring this famous (or infamous) character.
He Spent More Time Writing Dracula than on Any of his Other Books
Bram Stoker spent 7 years researching European folklore and superstitions before writing Dracula.
He Never Stood Up Without Help Until Age 7
The legendary writer was bed-ridden until the age of seven and needed a little assistance to walk.
His Mother Was a Writer and Told Him Tales of Horror
Stoker’s mom was a writer and she read horror stories to him while he lay sick in bed. This would later influence his interest in the supernatural and occult many years after.
He Was the Business Manager of a Theatre
Stoker became the business manager of the Lyceum theatre (owned by Irving) and actor-manager to Henry Irving (one of the most prominent actors of his time) after a favorable review of the latter’s performance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
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Bram Stoker wrote 12 novels, including Dracula and The Jewel of Seven Stars, and also published collections of short stories. Dracula was originally titled The Undead. As Dracula says: “My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side.” To date, more than 1000 novels and 200 films have been made about the vampire Dracula.
Born in Dublin on 8 November 1847, Stoker had an ancient, colourful lineage on his mother’s side – including the legendary sheriff of Galway, who hanged his own son. It was material the writer mined in his fiction.
A key inspiration for Dracula was always said to have been Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century Transylvanian-born prince also known as Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia. However, historian Fiona Fitzsimons says: “Stoker did not use overtly Irish references in Dracula, but his main theme is taken from Irish history – the history, we now learn, of his own family – recast in the writer’s imagination. Manus the Magnificent (Manus O’Donnell,who once ruled much of Ireland) was Stoker’s direct ancestor and was an influence on the book.”
Stoker was a sickly child, mostly bed-ridden during his early years. During this time, his mother entertained him with stories and legends from Sligo, which included supernatural tales and accounts of death and disease.
In 1878 Stoker married actress Florence Balcombe, they settled in London and together had a son named Irving Noel Thornley. During this time, he became friends with fellow Irishmen Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the famous Sherlock Holmes.
He Had Only One Kid. Irving Noel Thornley was the only son of Stoker and Florence. Both father and son’s cremated remains are joined in one urn. Visitors to the Golders Green Crematorium in London must be escorted to a room where the urn is housed for fear of vandalism.
His Original Title for Dracula was The Un-Dead
It has been suggested that Stoker coined the term, undead. His novel,Dracula was formerly titled The Undead. The original 541-page manuscript was discovered in a barn in Pennsylvania. The title page was handwritten. It included the title ‘The Un-Dead’ and the author’s name, Bram Stokerappeared at the bottom. The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, bought the manuscript.
Published First Fiction Book in 1881. Bram Stoker published his first fiction book, Under the Sunset in 1881.
He Published His First Horror Story in Installments. Stoker’s first horror story, The Chain of Destiny was published in four parts in ‘The Shamrock.’
Competed with Oscar Wilde for a Lady. He fought Oscar wild for the hand of actress, Florence Balcombe who was the daughter of a lieutenant-Colonel. And won. The two stayed together until his death in 1912.
He Met Two American Presidents. Stoker did a lot of traveling with Henry Irving and visited the US frequently. He met two American Presidents, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
His wife Florence survived him by twenty-five years. She was his literary executor and published Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories in 1922. There are speculations that the eponymous story, ‘Dracula’s Guest’ may have been intended as the first chapter for his novel, ‘Dracula.’