The writings of Bram Stoker are words that I take to heart. The pages of his novels flow with mysticism and the occult. A wondrous world of true Horror. The eloquence in his words is hypnotic, and it takes all powers of God to force me to put his novels down. I must devour each book in one sitting – cover to cover.
Lately, I have been on this kick of writing stories that are heavily based in folklore with a light twist of the macabre added in for an additional effect. I find a resonance with Stoker as his stories are derived in this same manner. His research for the heart of his novels’ settings is laid on the foundation of the regional folklore. For instance, the Gothic fiction Dracula (1897) is believed to have come into life from stories based on dark lore from the Carpathian Mountains. His research embodied all European mythologies of the Vampie… er, I mean the Vampyre (nod to Polidori). Stoker poured these historical facts from this region into Dracula and spun one of the greatest Vampire legends of all times.
So in honor of one of the greatest masters of Horror, I am going to leave you with some interesting fun facts about the man of the hour:
On April 20th 1912, Stoker passed away from what was believed to be tertiary syphilis. I find a trace of irony in his place of death. He died at Number 26 St. George’s Square. His greatest novel of all times is heavy with the St. George and the Dragon allegory, where Van Helsing and his men (the embodiment of St. George) succeed in slaying Dracula (the Dragon).
Stoker originally titled Dracula as The Un-Dead, but changed the title shortly before publishing.
After his death, his widow, Florence, published a collection of his short stories, which she titled Dracula’s Guests and Other Weird Stories (1914). It has long been speculated that these short stories are actually the deleted first chapter of Dracula. The unnamed main character is believed to be none other than Jonathan Harker.
Stoker is the third of seven children born to a Dublin family.
He was the personal assistant of famed English stage actor, Henry Irving, and was also the business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theater in London.
Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker! Your writings are deeply engrained in the world of Literature, and shall remain as a part of our history for all time.
©2012, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative – visit Amanda Headlee — It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn for the original source of this content.