Halloween has only just passed, and hoards of children and adults alike took to the streets in their best vampire costumes. Some will have been inspired by the sparkly heroes of Twilight, but anyone who loves real vampires should only have one man to thank for the fearsome creatures’ dominance in horror stories: Bram Stoker. Stoker’s birthday was earlier this month too, so we thought we’d celebrate by making him our World of Rare Books Author of the Week.
Born in Ireland, Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker pioneered horror writing with his classic novel Dracula, published in 1897. Told entirely through the characters’ journal entries and letters, it documents the chilling tale of Count Dracula, a Transylvanian lord who feeds on the blood of humans. Dracula certainly wasn’t the first story ever written about vampires, but it did inspire a wave of popularity in the idea. The Count is now the quintessential vampire and it’s not uncommon to hear the word ‘Dracula’ used to mean ‘vampire’.
Dracula was Stoker’s fifth novel, but he was far from being a seasoned horror writer when he came to write the story. On the contrary, all his previous works had been romance novels. But that’s not so difficult to see. Beneath Dracula’s supernatural front much of the story is based on the romance between Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray, and the way in which Count Dracula’s powers attempt to separate them.
Stoker led a very rich and full-life, and had a lot of interests outside of writing. For twenty years he was the business director at the celebrated Lyceum Theatre and was friends with some of the greatest authors of the period like Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle.
His other works never garnered the same popularity as Dracula, but Bram Stoker is known as an excellent writer. His innovative writing style and intense research into his subject matter, helped his stories to be both excellent to read and a fascinating insight into different places. He created the character Count Dracula, and for that he will be remembered as one of the most brilliant horror writers the world has ever seen.
World of Rare Books is getting into the Christmas spirit. If you buy something from our website between November 14th to December 31st we’ll give you 20% off. Just enter the code SEASONSWRB20 for your discount!