Bram Stoker was born on the 8th of November in 1847 in Dublin, Ireland. He was a brilliant son of Abraham Stoker, a senior civil servant, and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley, a religious lady. Bram Stoker was the third of seven children and was a sickly child. He was the victim of an unknown illness and was mostly bedridden in his early years. However, during the time of his illness, his mother used to entertain him with grim tales, which played a highly positive role in his later horror works.
After Bram Stoker’s recovery from his illness, he started his educational journey at the age of seven from a private school. Later, from 1864 to 1870, he was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a popular athlete. He graduated in 1870 with a degree in mathematics and pursued his master’s degree. Besides, he started writing critical reviews in the Dublin Evening Newspaper.
Marriage and Friendships
Bram Stoker established his career as a writer and civil servant and married Florence Balcombe, a beautiful actress in 1878. The couple settled in London, where he became a manager Stoker of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre. They had a son named Irving Noel Thornley. During that time, he also met and developed warm relationships with many significant literary figures, including William Butler Yeats, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde, which helped him pursue his creative activities.
Bram Stoker suffered a number of strokes in his later years, but he did not quit writing and completed his last novel, The Lair of the White Worm, before his death. This great man of the writing world breathed his last on the 20th of April in 1921 at St George’s Square, London. This great figure was cremated, and his ashes were preserved in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium, London.
Some Important Facts of His Life
- He wrote twelve novels, including The Jewel of Seven Stars, Dracula, and published many short stories in his life.
- He was an ardent admirer of art and was the founder of the Dublin Sketching Club, formed in 1879.
- He was highly inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
- His most inspiring gothic novel, Dracula, was used for various film adaptations.
Bram Stoker, the great Irish figure, started writing at a very young age and enjoyed unprecedented fame on account of his influential vampire novel. His first novel, The Snake’s Pass, was a romantic thriller published in 1890. The readers extended a warm welcome to this first attempt. His masterpiece and most exciting gothic novel, Dracula, however, appeared in 1897, hitting the shelves with a bang. It was written in the forms of journals in which the story revolves around the Transylvanian vampire who uses his supernatural power to attack innocent people and sucks their blood for his survival. Besides this big hit, he wrote several other novels, short stories, articles, and nonfiction, but none of them approached the popularity enjoyed by Dracula.
Bram Stoker enjoyed a successful literary life. During his childhood, his mother’s storytelling techniques proved a boon for his young creative mind, and later, his friendship with great literary figures further accelerated his writing career. After spending some time as a newspaper columnist, he started producing graphic fiction and incorporated the skills he learned as a columnist. Almost all of his novels have won popularity with romanticized gothic plot and stereotyped characters. Using epistolary style, he beautifully portrayed his ideas in his literary pieces. To make his piece more realistic and appealing, he included letters, diary entries, and telegrams to help readers understand his unique characterization. Moreover, by using epistolary style instead of narrative, he has brought novelty to the literary world. Regarding literary devices, he turned toward imagery, symbolism, and metaphors. The recurring themes in most of his writings are nature, ambition, death, religion, and the use of modern technology.
Some Important Works of Bram Stoker
- Best Novels: He was an outstanding novelist, some of his major novels include The Jewel of Seven Star, Dracula, The Lair of the White Worm, The Shoulder of Shasta, The Lady of the Shroud and The Mystery of the Sea.
- Other Works: Besides novels, he also tried his hands on shorter fiction and nonfiction. Some of them include The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, and Great Ghost Stories.
Bram Stoker’s Impact on Future Literature
Bram Stoker, with his unique abilities, left profound impacts on the global literature. After many years of his demise, his works still enjoy the same prestige, popularity, and depth of meanings. His unique ideas, along with distinct literary qualities, won applause from his readers, critics, and other fellow writers. He has integrated his ideas about good versus evil and power and religion so well that even today, the modern writers mostly try to imitate his style and prose writing to win success.
- “Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late; the pain of the sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horror as it has for me! How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.” (Dracula)
- “Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men´s eyes, because they know -or think they know- some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” (Dracula)
- “I suppose that we women are such cowards that we think a man will save us from fears, and we marry him.” (The New Annotated Dracula)