BRAM STOKER Biography - Writers


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Abraham "Bram" Stoker (1847-1912), Irish writer, best known for his vampire             
novel Dracula(1897).                                                                     
Bram Stoker was born near Dublin on November 8, 1847, the third of seven                 
children. An unidentified illness kept him virtually bedridden until age seven.         
Although he remained shy and bookish, in his adolescence Bram Stoker was                 
anything but sickly. Perhaps to make amends for his earlier frailty, he was by           
this time developing into a fine athlete. At Trinity College, Dublin, he would           
conquer his shyness and be named University Athlete.                                     
Young Bram had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but his father had safer             
plans. Yielding to the father's wishes, Bram followed him into a career as a             
civil servant in Dublin Castle. While climbing the civil service ladder, he             
wrote a dry tome entitled Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. This           
book of rules, however, would not be published until 1879, by which time Stoker         
would be married, living in another country, and immersed in a new career.               
During his eight-year stint in the civil service, Stoker continued to write             
stories, the first of which, a dream fantasy entitled "The Crystal Cup" (1872),         
was published by The London Society. A serialized four-part horror piece,               
entitled "The Chain of Destiny" followed three years later in the The Shamrock.         
He also found time to take unpaid positions as theatrical critic for Dublin's           
Evening Mail and, later, as editor of The Irish Echo.                                   
In 1878, Henry Irving offered Stoker the job of actor-manager at London's Lyceum         
Theatre. Stoker promptly resigned the civil service, married Florence Balcombe           
and set off for his new life in London. Within a year, Florence had given birth         
to their only child, a son, Noel, but Stoker and his wife, though continuing to         
keep up appearances, are said to have become estranged.                                 
Despite his heavy professional duties, Stoker somehow found the time to write           
fiction. His first book, Under the Sunset (1882), consisted of eight eerie fairy         
tales for children. His first full-length novel, The Snake's Pass, was published         
in 1890. That same year marks the beginning of Stoker's research for his                 
masterwork, Dracula, which, would be published in 1897 to world-wide acclaim.           
Stoker wrote several short stories, novels and essays but his name is                   
inextricably linked with Dracula.                                                       
Stoker continued to pursue a writing career until his death on April 20, 1912.