Bram Stoker, who was born on November 8, 1847 in Dublin, Ireland, was a talented Irish writer, who wrote many novels and short stories. Some of his best works are Dracula , The Mystery of the Sea , and Famous Impostors .
To celebrate the life of the great Irish writer, 10 fun facts about Stoker have been listed below.
Actor Henry Irving was his superior for many years
Along with writing short stories and novels, Stoker was known for being a working assistant to Henry Irving, who was known at the time for being a very successful actor. Irving was also the owner of the Lyceum Theatre in London, England. While working at the Lyceum Theatre, Stoker was the business manager; he worked at this theatre for 27 years. Due to this prestigious job and working for an immensely talented actor, the Irish novelist met many high-ranking citizens, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Completed many novels in a 20-year span
From 1890 to 1911, the famous Irish author wrote many novels. Along with completing Dracula during this time, he finished 10 other novels, including The Snake’s Pass, Miss Betty, and The Lady of the Shroud. On a side note, he completed one short story collection during this time span, Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Play, which was released in 1908.
Dracula was not even mentioned in any obituary of him
Although the Gothic novel Dracula is the most famous work by Stoker, this writing was not even acknowledged in his obituary. This is an interesting fact as the novel received positive reviews upon its release, but was not as popular as it is today. One of the reasons for its contemporary success is that many movies have been based on the book.
Excelled in mathematics as an undergraduate
While writing was certainly Stoker’s forte, he was also gifted in mathematics. In fact, the novelist received a B.A. in the subject from Trinity College, Dublin. He ended up investing his time in writing and in theatre while completing his studies at the college, and even wrote for the Dublin Evening Mail for a short time.
His death did not attract as much attention as it could have
On April 20, 1912, the Gothic writer passed away at the age of 64 due to several strokes. He may have also suffered from tertiary syphilis, a painful infection affecting the central nervous system. His death could have attracted much more attention than it did, but the cruise line ship Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14 of the same year. As everyone knows, this unfortunate event was a news-grabber, and became the subject of many books, films, and memorials.
Met two American presidents during his lifetime
As an individual with much talent and prestige, Stoker met a number of important individuals. Two of the people that he met during his lifetime were former presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He met these people through his colleague, Irving, when the two of them attended the White House on two occasions.
Stoker actually won over the interest of a coveted woman
The Irish horror writer may not have won many people over with his looks, but his love life was somewhat successful. For instance, Stoker had tough competition from Oscar Wilde in competing for the interest of Florence Balcombe. Despite having to fight with the author of The Importance of Being Earnest, Stoker was successful in his quest for love. In fact, he actually married Balcombe and the couple had a child, Irving Noel Thornley Stoker. It is interesting to note that Wilde was not particularly happy with Stoker for winning the love interest of Balcombe, but the two were able to reconcile and remained friends.
The Irish Anglican was a late bloomer
It was not until Stoker was in his late 20s when he started writing. When he completed his most famous work, Dracula, he was 50-years-old. Another interesting fact is that the Irish author started to write his novels when he was 43-years-old. This is remarkable because many talented writers start their writing careers at an early age; Stoker was certainly a late bloomer.
Walt Whitman was one of his favorite authors
Despite meeting numerous people of fame, the Victorian novelist strongly enjoyed meeting and admired the 19 th -century American novelist Walt Whitman. Stoker became interested in the works of Whitman at an early age, and liked Whitman’s work Leaves of Grass . When the Irish writer was 24-years-old, he wrote to Whitman. He wrote, “I am ugly but strong and determined and have a large bump over my eyebrows … I take a delight in letting people I don’t like – people of mean or cruel or sneaking or cowardly disposition – see the worst side of me.” The two talented writers ended up meeting and enjoyed their time together. Along with meeting Doyle and Whitman, Spoker was also good friends with Mark Twain, James Whistler, William Gladstone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.
When he was able to walk, he was seven years old
As a member of seven children, the romantic fiction writer was part of a large family. Unfortunately for Stoker, he did not have a healthy childhood. In fact, he suffered from an unexplained illness that caused him to be physically handicapped. Eventually he recovered from the illness, and even became a successful athlete at his college.
In the end, the Irish author had a remarkable writing career. He is often celebrated as one of the most talented writers from the country of Ireland, and deserves to be considered an all-time great writer, particularly for writing Dracula .
“Bram Stoker Biography,” Biography.com.
“Bram Stoker,” Bramstoker.org.
Meredith Hindley, “When Bram Met Walt,” National Endowment for the Humanities.