#OTD in 1897 – First publication of Dracula, written by Dublin man Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker.

The well-known theatre manager and part-time writer Bram Stoker released Dracula, a Gothic adventure novel about the exploits of a Transylvanian vampire in England and the attempts by a crew of respectable professional men (and one woman) to destroy the ancient evil.

After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St George’s Square, London on 20 April 1912.

The short story collection Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories was published in 1914 by Stoker’s widow, Florence Stoker, who was also his literary executrix. The first film adaptation of Dracula was F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, released in 1922, with Max Schreck starring as Count Orlok. Florence Stoker eventually sued the filmmakers, and was represented by the attorneys of the British Incorporated Society of Authors. Her chief legal complaint was that she had neither been asked for permission for the adaptation nor paid any royalty. The case dragged on for some years, with Mrs. Stoker demanding the destruction of the negative and all prints of the film. The suit was finally resolved in the widow’s favour in July 1925. A single print of the film survived, however, and it has become well known. The first authorised film version of Dracula did not come about until almost a decade later when Universal Studios released Tod Browning’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi.

An annual festival takes place in Dublin, the birthplace of Bram Stoker, in honour of his literary achievements. The 2014 Bram Stoker Festival encompassed literary, film, family, street, and outdoor events, and ran from 24–27 October in and around Dublin City. The festival is supported by the Bram Stoker Estate and funded by Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Image | Cover of first edition of Dracula (London, 1897) (TCD F.7.195) by permission of the Board of Trinity College Dublin

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