Stoker, Bram

8 November 1847 - 20 April 1912

Irish-born writer, theater critic, and manager for the famed late-C19 actor Henry Irving, Stoker is of course best known as the author of Dracula, the definitive vampire story. Stoker wrote a number of other novels and short stories, several of which (The Jewel of Seven Stars and Lair of the White Worm, to mention just a couple of the novels) also have major supernaturalist elements.

Sites:
Dracula's Home Page
A good introductory site, with biographical information on Stoker and brief essays on Stoker's sources and influences.  [Elizabeth Miller, Memorial U, Newfoundland]
Bram Stoker Estate
This is it, the official home of the Bram Stoker Estate -- as close to real vampires as any of us will ever get. Loads of unique links here: video tours of Bram's house, of a reading of Dracula, of Bram's Dublin; there's even information on Bram Stoker's descendants. If you're a Stoker fan in any degree, you must visit this site. Immerse yourself in it, even. Enjoy!
Brief biographical note
[Wikipedia]
Bram Stoker
Biographical note and a few etext links. [The Literature Network]
Brief biographical note
[The Queensland Hotel, Whitby]
Brief biographical note
[Columbia Encyclopedia, Bartleby]
The Dracula Page
Good overview of the novel, among other goodies.  [Gisèle Baxter, U British Columbia]
The Historical Dracula opens in new tab/window
Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some, about Vlad Tepes, the inspiration (sort of) for Stoker's Count--whom, according to Elizabeth Miller, Stoker first named "Count Wampyr" in an early draft, changing the name to Dracula when he saw a brief mention of Dracula in a book he'd consulted for research purposes. That book makes no mention of the historical Dracula's obscene cruelties, which Stoker of course does not mention. Note that Stoker's penchant for clumsy, obvious names remained in his novel: Dracula hides his identity, while in London, behind the pseudonym "de Ville" — as in "devil." (From what I understand, "Dracula" means "son of the dragon" (and apparently also "son of the devil"), and is a reference to the fact that the father of the historical Vlad Dracula, Vlad Dracul, was so named because he received the Order of the Dragon from King Sigismun, head honcho of the Holy Roman Empire in the C15.) [Liviu Gabriel Ratiu]
"The Real Prince Dracula"
Discussion of the real (and ugly) life of Vlad Tepes, who actually remains something of a national hero in Romania for his efforts in defending the country against Turkish invaders.
Prince Dracula
Translation of a 1488 pamphlet purporting to document the evils of Prince Vlad. (12K)  [Michael Gamer, U Penn]
Rosenbach Museum
The Philadephia-area museum which houses some of Stoker's papers relevant to Dracula, and which sponsors, in the fall, a "Release the Bats" Dracula festival. Check it out.
Welcome to the Castle
Brief biographical note on Vlad Tepes and a chronology of vampire lore/legend.  [Andrei Tamas]
Brief biographical note
[Gothic Labyrinth]
Bram Stoker in Dublin
Brief biographical note and list of Dublin sites associated with Stoker.  [VisIT]
Bram Stoker
Bio-bibliographical note. [U Toronto LIbrary]
Bram Stoker Memorial Association
Includes some photos of Stoker-related sites.
Bram Stoker's Dracula Organization
More about the director of this organization than about Stoker or his most famous novel.
Brief biographical note
[Keith Parkins]
Bram Stoker page
A fairly basic fan page; brief biographical note and partial bibliiographies.
Stoker Hyper-Concordance
Part of the The Victorian Literary Studies Archive, this concordance allows you to search etexts of Dracula and Jewel of the Seven Stars.
Bram Stoker Awards
Web page for the annual award given by the Horror Writers Association.
Bram Stoker






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Etexts:
"The Burial of the Rats"
Another one of Stoker's sexually fraught tales - and another (like "The Judge's House" and Dracula) prominently featuring rats - this one features a hero on the verge of marriage (as was Stoker at the time he was writing this tale), a Parisian dump, and Olympic-caliber athleticism. This was also a Victorian Christmas horror story, first published in Holly Leaves on 5 December 1891.
- at LitGothic  a LitGothic etext [PDF; printable w/ explanatory notes]
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format

"The Coming of Abel Behenna"
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format

"Crooken Sands"
Stoker at Christmas: first published in Holly Leaves 1 December 1894
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format

"A Dream of Red Hands"
First published in Sketch magazine, 11 July 1894.
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format


Dracula   [1897]
- at Carnegie Mellon U (ToC)
- at Literature.org (ToC)
- at Page by Page Books (ToC)

-- Dracula editionsopens in new tab/window
A bibliographer's dream, this site has full bibliographic information for just about every edition of Stoker's novel since the first, including cover art! A wonderful cultural history lesson in itself, this site is a real treat....  [Melinda Hayes, USC —creator of the Vampiri Europeana site]

-- All Things Dracula opens in new tab/window
Another excellent bibliographic website devoted to Dracula, its many editions and adaptations. While lacking the cover images of the above site, All Things Dracula has helpful notes, and offers an introductory essay on the textual history of Stoker's most famous novel. [J. Gordon Melton]

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Follow in Stoker's footsteps...







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"Dracula's Guest"
- at Literature.org (33K)
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format


Need more Stoker?
Check out the Bram Stoker Series
of chapbooks from
Swan River Press
"The Dualitists"
This one, which I'm guessing is an attempt at humor that slipped beyond Stoker's control, is flat-out disturbing. Definitely not recommended for new parents.

"The Gipsy Prophecy"
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format

The Jewel of Seven Stars
Another one of those novels proving that Stoker got lucky with Dracula; as with most of his novels, this one's a bit clumsy and awkward in a number of regards. This one also has the distinction of having two endings; the original 1903 version seems to kill off the main characters; the 1919 edition of the novel has them survive. According to E. F. Bleiler, this later version may not have been written by Stoker, who of course died 7 years before this edition was published.
- original, 1903 version; unhappy ending [Munsey's / BlackMask]
- revised, 1919 version; happy ending [Munsey's / BlackMask]

"The Judge's House"
First published in the 5 Dec. 1891 issue of Holly Leaves.
This is, arguably, Stoker's best traditional ghost story (not that he has many such works); while heavily indebted to Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's "Mr. Justice Harbottle" (and its earlier incarnations), it is quite successful in its own right.
- at Lit of the Fantastic (45K)
- at Gaslight (45K)
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format

click the cover image to purchase this book from amazon.comclick the cover image for more info from amazon.com   The Lady of the Shroud
Stoker's 1909 return to a vampire theme, though in this case the vampirism turns out to be staged rather than real.
- at Munsey's / BlackMask

Lair of the White Worm
Fairly weird stuff, written when Stoker was ill (with syphillis, some have suggested) near the end of his life. As sexually fraught as Dracula, and much less subtle in that regard, it's a bit clunky in its plotting and character but doesn't stint on the horrific. Don't miss the scene of the worm's destruction; it's a classic, but be sure not to read it during lunch....
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"The Secret of the Growing Gold"
First published in the magazine Black and White on 23 January 1892.
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format - at HorrorMasters (PDF; not printable)

"The Squaw"
Yet another of Stoker's contributions to the Victorian tradition of the Christmas ghost story - this was first published in Holly Leaves on 2 December 1892 - this work is Stoker's riff on the "predicament tale" perfected by Edgar Allan Poe in works such as "The Pit and the Pendulum." Stoker indeed seems to be drawing on Poe here, for this dark tale (the predicament involves an "Iron Maiden" and one of Stoker's brash American characters) has its horror precipitated by a black cat.
- at Munsey's / BlackMask (HTML). This is one of the tales in the collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories; use the Table of Contents to select this story or go here to choose another format


Books:
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Looking for a collection of Stoker's short horror classics? Here's your best bet, from Dover Publications.
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In The Jewel of Seven Stars, first published in 1903, Stoker capitalizes on the C19 British obsession with Egyptology in this novel of reincarnation, murder, and mummies.
Essays:
"Coitus Interruptus: Sex, Bram Stoker, and Dracula"
by Elizabeth Miller [Romanticism on the Net]

"Objectifying Anxieties: Scientific Ideologies in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Lair of the White Worm"
by Diane Long Hoeveler [Romanticism on the Net]



Reviews:
Dracula: Sense & Nonsense
Elizabeth Miller (Desert Island Books, 2000). Reviewer: J. Gordon Melton. [Cesnur.org]
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