“We learn from failure, not from success.” –Bram Stoker
Stoker published his masterpiece, Dracula, in 1897. Deemed a classic horror novel not long after its release, Dracula has continued to garner acclaim for more than a century, inspiring the creation of hundreds of film, theatrical and literary adaptations. In addition to Dracula, Stoker published more than a dozen novels before his death in 1912.
Bram Stoker was born Abraham Stoker on 8 November 1847, in Clontarf, Co Dublin to father, Abraham Stoker and mother Charlotte Matilda Blake Thornley Stoker. He was one of seven children.
Stoker was bed-ridden for much of his childhood, but lived a relatively healthy life during his adulthood. Educated at Trinity College, Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through a friend, Dr. Maunsell. He became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Sheridan Le Fanu.
In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent. She was a celebrated beauty whose former suitor was Oscar Wilde. Stoker had known Wilde from his student days, having proposed him for membership of the university’s Philosophical Society while he was president.
The Stokers moved to London, where Stoker became acting manager and then business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. On 31 December 1879, Bram and Florence’s only child was born, a son whom they christened Irving Noel Thornley Stoker.
After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St George’s Square on 20 April 1912. Some biographers attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis, others to overwork. He was cremated, and his ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium. After Irving Noel Stoker’s death in 1961, his ashes were added to that urn.