Bram Stoker: "Dracula" and Beyond Essays

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Stoker published his stories since 1872, including the "Crystal Cup" (1872), his first horror tale "The Chain of Destiny" (1875), a collection of children's stories Under the Sunset (1881), and his first novel The Snake's Pass (1890), but he did not realize fame until the overwhelming success of Dracula (1897). The responses in popular periodicals were broad, but generally positive. One 1897 review in the Athenaeum even states that Stoker goes "'one better' than others in the [supernatural] field" (Senf 59). He began the novel in 1890 and was influenced by his visit to Whitby, where he discovered in William Wilkinson's An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia a reference to the historical Dracula (Byron 27). [Originally, the novel was to be entitled "The Undead"] He also researched Eastern European folklore and geography in travel guides, the most well known source being Emily Gerard's The Land Beyond the Forest (1888). The reasons for Dracula's success are many, and it has become a major focus for stage, musical and cinematic adaptations and, more recently, has become a major focus of academic criticism.

Stoker continued to write Gothic and fantasy fiction, including The Lair of the White Worm
Stoker was educated at Trinity College, "where he won honours in science, mathematics, oratory, history, and composition ("Obituary"). After graduating he entered the Irish Civil Service where he served as Inspector of Petty Sessions (Byron 9). In 1876 Stoker met the actor Henry Irving and by 1878 had moved to London where he was acting manager at the famous Lyceum Theatre. It was there that Stoker entered into fashionable circles through which we learn much of his character and influences. In the same year…