Born: 1847, in Dublin, Ireland

Died: April 20, 1912, in London, England

As a child Bram Stoker was very weak. He was unable to stand or walk until the age of seven. By the time he attended the University of Dublin, however, he had outgrown this weakness and become a very successful football player. He graduated from the University in 1867.

For the next ten years Stoker served as an Irish civil servant at Dublin Castle. During this period he also worked as a paid drama critic for the Dublin Mail from 1871 to 1876 gained the friendship of the actor Henry Irving.

Stoker accompanied Irving on many American tours serving as his manager for the next twenty-seven years. This experience inspired Bram to write a series of lectures intended for English audiences concerning life in the United States. The success of the printed form of these lectures was encouraging, and he decided to try his hand at fiction. The Snake's Pass was published in 1890 and Dracula followed in 1897. Dracula was very successful, inspiring a stage play and several motion pictures. Its style has often been imitated.

The last years of Stoker's life were spent working on the literary staff of the London Telegraph. None of his later novels would ever reach the caliber or notoriety of Dracula. Some notable examples are: The Mystery of the Sea, published in 1902; The Jewel of Seven Stars, published in 1904; and The Lady of the Shroud, published in 1909.