To generations, Bram Stoker's name has been synonymous with gothic horror. His name has even been included in movie titles – namely, 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula . But few people know much about Bram Stoker: who he was, what he did along Dracula , and what he liked.
Born in Clontarf in Dublin, Ireland on November 8, 1847, Stoker fell in love with the theater at a young age. A friend helped him secure a position as a theater critic for the Dublin Evening Mail , a position that carried little of the respect that it does today. However, his reviews were noted for their quality and the fluidity of his writing, and they led to an introduction to famous actor Henry Irving. Stoker soon joined Irving as his personal assistant, which led to him managing Irving's Lyceum Theater in London. He spent his spare time working on short stories and novels.
A friend of Oscar Wilde and Hall Caine, Bram began publishing short stories and novels, including horror novels such The Lady of the Shroud and The Lair of the White Worm . However, he is most known for his masterpiece, Dracula . A synthesis of folklore and gothic Victorian writing, the novel was an awesome critical success before it became an immensely popular work as consequential generations fell in love with the inventive storytelling and well-wrought prose.
In 1924, 12 years after Bram Stoker's death, Hamilton Deane received permission from the Stoker estate to turn the novel into a play. Featuring Deane himself as the Dutch doctor Abraham van Helsing, the play was a huge smash and was brought to New York. The American production featured Hungarian stage actor Bela Lugosi in his first major American stage role.