Thursday, November 8, 2012

20 Facts About Bram Stoker

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.

Dracula Was Inspired by
Stoker made no trips to research for his novel, Dracula. His work was mostly inspired by Emily Gerard’s Transylvania Superstitions.

He Wrote 12 Novels
Stoker authored 12 novels and published several short story collections. He wrote about 18 books during his lifetime.

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 Stoker appeared at the bottom. The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, bought the manuscript.

He Worked as a Journalist
Bram Stoker was a theater critic, an accomplished athlete, author, biographer, theater manager and a journalist.

His Friend Was Inspiration for His Famous Character
Henry Irving (Stoker’s friend who owned the Lyceum Theater that Stoker managed) was the physical inspiration for the author’s famous character, Count Dracula. Henry Irving was an important model for Dracula.

Published First Fiction Book in 1881
Bram Stoker published his first fiction book, Under the Sunset in 1881.

The Dracula Story Was Inspired By a Real Historical Figure
Vlad the Impaler, a real historical figure, infamous for impaling his enemies on stakes and watching them die in slow agony was the inspiration for Stoker’s book, Dracula. He was also known as Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia.

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.’

He Was an Art Lover
Stoker loved art and was the founder of The Dublin Sketching Club in 1874.

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.

He was the third of 7 children
Stoker was the third child of Abraham Stoker and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley in a family of seven.

His wife survived him by twenty-five years
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.’

Cause of Death is Controversial
Stoker passed on at No. 26 St George's Square in London on April 20 1912 of exhaustion/overwork or tertiary syphilis or stroke (depending on whose report you believe).
Bram Stoker would probably be remembered as the man who took Eastern European folklore and superstitions and invented fiction’s most popular and probably most dreaded anti-hero, Dracula.


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