Bram Stoker 1847-1912
Bram Stoker,author of the world’s best selling novel “Dracula”was born in Clontarf, Dublin in November 1847.After a sickly childhood he completed a degree course at Trinity College and then followed his father’s footsteps into the civil service at Dublin Castle.
However, his real interest lay in drama and he wrote a drama column for the Dublin Daily Mail newspaper in the 1870’s.This work greatly contributed to the nurturing of the dramatic scene in Dublin and helped to pave the way for the founding of the National Theatre later.
In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe – who had been courted by Oscar Wilde – and moved to England where he became secretary to his great acting idol Henry Irving and manger of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London. Stoker remained with Irving until the actor’s death in 1905 and under his direction Henry became the first actor to be knighted.
Bram Stoker’s world famous masterpiece of Gothic Horror, “Dracula”, was first published in 1897 and has never been out of print since. The only book to outsell it is the Bible! “Dracula” has had a huge effect on the world of the theatre and the cinema, art and the performing arts in general. It has been the source of inspiration for countless books, films and plays as well as Ireland’s first Gothic Art Exhibition which opened at Dublin Castle in January 1999.
There have been many and varied theories forwarded over many years as to what inspired Stoker to write this spine chilling horror story which has endured so well.
It is now widely accepted that Stoker’s own Dublin background and Irish history and mythology in general were, perhaps, the real creative source.
Indeed it is a matter of astonishment that until recent times – and particularly the advent of The Bram Stoker International Summer School in 1990 – Stoker’s Irishness was practically overlooked.
Bram Stoker died in London in April 1912 and was cremated at Golders Green Cemetery in London. In his native Clontarf, he is commemorated by the Bram Stoker Park, Information Board and Tree in front of his ancestral home at number 15 The Crescent.
The Bram Stoker Clan is a world wide organisation dedicated to promoting the recognition of Bram Stoker and his work.The Clan has its headquarters in Dublin, under the auspices of Bram Stoker Enterprises, and membership is open to one and all – young or old, male or female-around the world. The Clan aspires to become a powerful International Stoker Movement with the major aim of establishing a Bram Stoker Memorial /Heritage /Research Centre in his native Clontarf. The centre can be a Stoker “Shrine” where students and enthusiasts can have access to a vast collection of books and research materials concerning Stoker, Dracula and The Gothic in general. Every Clan member will receive all Clan Newsletters free of charge and will have free admission to the annual Bram Stoker Summer School series of lectures.
The name “Clan” is the Celtic and Irish word for race of people or “descendants of.” The Gaelic word for family is clann.
Adult members will be known as “Comhaltas” and youth members (Under 18) will be “Óganachs.” An awards ceremony will be incorporated into the International Summer School each year to inaugurate members as Clan “Ollamhs”* or “Breitheamhs.”* These are two Celtic titles and will be awarded in recognition of special work for, or services rendered to, any aspect of Bram Stoker Enterprises.
*An Ollamh is a master, professor or learned one while a Breitheamh is a judge.