Bram Stoker was an Irish author, novelist, short story writer, and theater critic. He is best known as the author of the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula. During his lifetime Bram Stoker was best known as the theater manager of the actor Henry Irving and managing director of the famous and one of London's oldest theaters, the Liceum.
Abraham Stoker was born in 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent — then called "The Crescent" — in Fairview, a coastal suburb of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were a senior civil servant Abraham Stoker and the feminist Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornely. Stoker was the third of seven children.
Stoker was an invalid until he started school at seven — when he made a complete and astounding recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness allowed many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years."
After his recovery, he became a normal young man, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin (1864 — 70), from which he graduated with honors in mathematics.
He was an auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on "Sensationalism in Fiction and Society".
In 1876, while employed as a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published 1879) and theatre reviews for The Dublin Mail, a newspaper partly owned by fellow horror writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu.
His interest in theatre led to a lifelong companionship with the English performer Henry Irving. He also wrote stories, and in 1872 "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock.
In 1878 Bram Stoker married Florence Balcombe, a celebrated beauty whose former suitor was Oscar Wilde. The couple moved to London, where Stoker became acting manager and then business manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre. This post he held for 27 years.
The collaboration with Irving was important for Stoker and through him, he became involved in London's high society, where he met, among other notables, James McNeil Whistler, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker got the chance to travel around the world.
During his visit to the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, Stoker drew inspiration for writing Dracula. Stoker spent several years researching Central and East European folklore and mythological stories of vampires. According to one version, he was inspired by the dark tales of the Carpathian Mountains by the Hungarian-Jewish writer and traveler Armin Vambery.
At the time of its publication, Dracula was considered a "straightforward horror novel" based on imaginary creations of supernatural life.
During this period, Stoker was part of the literary staff of The Daily Telegraph in London, and he wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911).
In 1906, after Irving's death, he published a book, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, which proved successful, and directed productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Bram Stoker died in 1912 due to locomotor ataxia and was cremated, and his ashes were placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium.
Since his death, his classic Dracula has become one of the most well-known works in English literature. The novel has been adapted into numerous films, short stories, and plays.