illustration ©2003 Mitch O'Connell


Born in Dublin in 1847, Abraham Stoker was a sickly, bedridden child, whose mother entertained him with stories of the macabre. While his health improved, and he eventually became an athlete at Trinity College, Stoker never lost his fascination for tales of horror. He earned law and mathematics degrees and honors in science, but Stoker’s passion for drama won out, and he spent most of his life as the manager of famed Victorian actor Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre in London. Stoker also served as Irving’s secretary and personal manager, and the actor’s domineering personality held Stoker in thrall until Irving’s death in 1905, and was the inspiration for Stoker’s most famous character, Dracula. When Stoker died in 1912, he was known primarily as the author of Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. Only after his death did his other writings become more broadly known. His eighteen published nonfiction books, novels and short story collections include The Snake's Pass, Snowbound, Under the Sunset, The Lady of the Shroud, The Jewel of Seven Stars and Lair of the White Worm. But none approached the worldwide popularity of Dracula, originally published in 1897 and continuously in print to this day.

Graphic Classics: Bram Stoker
(second edition)
144 pages, b&w, $10