"At the mention of the name Bram Stoker, the image of a bloodthirsty monster pops into the minds of many people. Bram Stoker is best known as the author of one of the most famous novels of all time, Dracula. Bram Stoker's Dracula spawned dozens of books, plays, films, and even music.
The legend has been changed and interpreted in many different ways as it has been told from generation to generation, but Stoker's story is the one that has stood the test of time. The novel opens with Jonathan Harker riding in a train and noticing the other passengers talking amongst themselves and pointing to him?-some even seemed to bless him from across the aisle. It seemed to him that they all knew about his upcoming visit at Count Dracula's castle. The rest of the story is as chilling and bloodcurdling today as it was the year it was published.
Abraham ""Bram"" Stoker was born near Clontarf, Ireland on November 8, 1847. Born third into a family of seven children, Bram was confined to bed until the age of seven by an unknown illness. Though he was shy during his childhood, Bram developed into a fine athlete and academic student by his teenage years. While attending Trinity College, in Dublin, Bram was named ""University Athlete"" for his impeccable skill in soccer and marathon walking. He graduated from Trinity with honors in mathematics in 1870.
Bram always dreamed of becoming a writer as a young man, but gave into his father?s persuasion and followed him into a career as a civil servant in Dublin Castle. While working as a civil servant, he wrote a book of rules entitled Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published in 1879. During his eight years as a civil servant, he published a couple of stories and became an unpaid theatrical critic for Dublin's Evening Mail. At Trinity College, Stoker was amazed by the acting talents of Henry Irving, whom he saw perform at Dublin's Theatre Royal. Approximately a decade later Irving returned to Dublin to star in Hamlet. After having read Stoker's review of Hamlet, he invited Bram backstage. From that meeting a friendship flourished that would last for almost 30 years.
Two years later Bram quit the civil service and became Irving's manager. At this time, he had his only child, a son named Noel, with his 19 yr. old wife Florence Balcombe. Together they moved to London.
In 1882 Stoker's first book was published, Under the Sunset, a book of eerie fairy tales for children. His first novel, The Snakes Pass, was published in 1890, the very year that Bram started research for Dracula, one of the world?s most famous novels.
Having lived the rest of his life under two shadows, that of Henry Irving's and that of his own creation, Dracula, Stoker is referred to by his own nephew Daniel Farson, as ""one of the least known authors of one of the best known books ever written."" Having written 17 books during his lifetime, Bram Stoker died in 1912 at the age of 65. "