Today would have been Bram Stoker‘s 165th birthday. Last month the Bram Stoker Festival took place in Dublin prior to Halloween, so while I was aware that this anniversary was coming up, Google has paid tribute to Stoker today by means of their daily doodle, featuring Count Dracula and other characters from the book of the same name. Google’s font is also indicative of the novel’s ear of the late 19th century!
Initially, working as a civil servant at Dublin Castle, Stoker mainly wrote short stories. In the early part of his career he was also an unpaid theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. In fact, this newspaper was once co-owned by author Sheridan Le Fanu, another Irish writer of Gothic stories and mystery novels.
Stoker moved to London following his marriage in 1878 where he became acting manager at the Lyceum Theatre. He worked there for 27 years where he wrote his famous masterpiece, Dracula, in 1897. Prior to this, Stoker had spent many years researching stories about vampires and European folklore.
The novel and the character of Dracula have been written about and dramatised countless times and while Stoker’s book is probably the most famous vampire book, it wasn’t the first. It should also be remembered that Stoker wrote many great novels and short stories apart from Dracula.
But today, with Halloween not too far behind us, it seems fitting we remember Dracula in particular.
“For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin’; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula