Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy 165th Birthday to 
BRAM STOKER!!!!  The Legendary Author of DRACULA!!!

Bram Stoker whose actual name is Abraham was born in Dublin, Ireland November 8th 1847 and died April 20th 1912 in London, England. 
He was the third of seven children.  When he was a child he suffered from some mysterious illness which kept him bedridden for years.  During this time his Mom Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley would entertain her son with morbid, supernatural stories from Sligo which might've influenced his gothic and spooky themes in his books.
 He was a theater critic and wrote a review for Hamlet which impressed famous actor Henry Irving whom he later became life long friends with.
Later on he became manager of Irving's theater, the Lyceum Theater as well as Irving's career.
The Horror Writer's Association annually bestows the Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror.
Bram Stoker also wrote quite a few other well known scary novels such as The Lair of the White Worm, Jewel of the Seven Stars, and The Lady of the Shroud.  He was also a short story writer, Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories is his best known short story collection.
Bram Stoker met Armin Vambery a Hungarian writer and traveler.  He was likely influenced to write Dracula from Vambery's dark and scary stories of the Carpathian mountains.  He spent many years researching European folklore and vampire mythology.
Dracula was also inspired by an essay by Emily Gerard, "Transylvania Superstitions." 
The name Dracula was inspired by Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century Transylvanian born prince also known as Vlad Dracula III of Wallachia.
Before he called the book Dracula he originally called it The Un-Dead.  The original 541 page manuscript was found in a barn in Pennsylvania with the title The Un-Dead it included many corrections and Bram Stoker's name at the bottom.  Author Robert Latham said "the most famous horror novel ever published, it's title changed at the last minute." The original manuscript was bought by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
 Bram Stoker's death remains controversial as it's still unknown as to what he died of on April 20th 1912.   Stoker's nephew Daniel Farson wrote a biography in 1975 where it was suggested that the death certificate stated one of the causes of his death as "Locomotor Ataxy 6 months" a euphemism for syphilis.  Stoker had also previously suffered several strokes.  Other sources claimed that he just died from over work.  Stoker was cremated and his ashes were placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium and Masoleum in London, England.

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