Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was a mediocre Irish playwright and theatrical manager who produced exactly one memorable book: 1897's Dracula. It has been suggested that Stoker's horror story was inspired by a combination of two historical figures: Vlad Tepes (also known as Vlad the Impaler), a 15th century prince with a profoundly disgusting method of keeping marauding Turks out of Wallachia, his small principality in the Balkan mountains, and Elizabeth Bathory, a deranged Hungarian countess who believed that bathing in the blood of virgins was the secret to looking fabulous. Stoker wrote the part of Dracula in the hope that his beloved employer, the megalomaniac actor Henry Irving, would play him onstage. This hope, like most of Stoker's hopes, went unfulfilled (Irving reportedly never did anything to please anyone but himself) and Stoker died at age 64 of exhaustion.

Note: Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde both courted the same woman, Florence Balcombe. She eventually married Stoker. I've always felt bad for Florence Balcombe. What a crappy choice she had to make--Stoker doesn't seem like he was the most charming guy in the world, and his feelings for Henry Irving were probably a lot warmer than she would have liked. Wilde had buckets of charm, but his feelings for Alfred Douglas were definitely warmer than she would have liked. Why couldn't she just find a nice, straight guy without any literary aspirations and marry him?

Seriously, someone should write book about this woman. I'm sure it would sell.


Everywhere. Look for David J. Skal and Nina Auerbach's annotated version.

Other Recommendations:
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
Posted by: Julia


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