Bram Stoker Report Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, Ireland on November 8th, 1847.
His father was a civil servant in Dublin Castle, and his mother, Charlotte, was a women’s lib advocate. They had seven children in nine years; the third of which was Bram. The first seven years of his life he was bedridden with an undiagnosed disease which may have been anything from rheumatic fever, asthma or a form of nonparalytic polio. During these first years of his life as he laid in his bed he listened to stories his mother told him of the cholera epidemic of 1832; people buried alive, and entire families dying in a matter of days.At the age of 12 Bram left his home to attend school at Dublin’s Rutland Square under Reverend William Wood.
During these years he made up for his childhood sickness by becoming involved in athletics and became an endurance walker. Following his older brothers lead in 1863, at the age of 17, he entered Trinity College in Dublin. Only ten years after he took his first steps he was now six foot two and 175 pounds. He joined several clubs and groups; he became president of the Philosophical Society, auditor of the Historical Society, he played soccer, was unbeatable in his walking marathons, and after two years he became the athletics champion of Trinity. In 1866 Bram took a one year leave of absence from Trinity to work as a clerk in the Registrar of Petty Sessions at Dublin Castle. Later in the year he saw the play The Rivals playing the lead, Captain Absolute, was the British actor Henry Irving, a person who would play a major role in Bram’s life. He was so impressed by Irving’s performance he wrote: “What I saw, to my amazement and delight , was a patrician figure as real as the person of one’s dreams, and endowed with the same poetic grace.
A young soldier, handsome, distinguished, self-dependent; compact of grace and slumberous energy. A man of quality who stood out from his surroundings on the stage as a being of another social world. A figure full of dash and fine irony, and whose ridicule seemed to bite; buoyant with the joy of life; self-conscious; an offensive egoist envy in his love-making; of supreme and unsurpassable insolence, veiled and shrouded in his fine quality of manner.” He returned to Trinity after his absence and graduated in 1871 with a degree in science, he then stayed on to earn his masters degree in pure mathematics.
After graduation he assumed a position as the unpaid drama critic for the “Evening Mail,” he also wrote short stories on the side. A year later, in 1872, The London Society published his short story The Crystal Cup, and in 1875 his four part serial The Chain of Destiny this was Bram’s first horror story.At about this same time he quit his job at the Evening Mail to take a job as drama critic at the Dublin Mail. Three years later he became editor of The Halfpenny Press, but quit after four months. In 1876 Henry Irving returned to Dublin, Stoker went to see Irving in the play Hamlet.
Stoker praised the actor in his newspaper column when he wrote; “In his fits of passion there is a realism that no one but a genius can ever effect.” Irving read this the next morning and asked the manager of the theater to introduce him to Bram, they met that night for dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel. Stoker saw Irving in Hamlet two more time hoping to find some flaw in the performance. Stoker and Irving met often and soon discovered they had much in common and became quick friends.On December 11th, 1876 Irving was awarded two honors from Trinity College, the first was an address drafted by Stoker, the second was a performance of Hamlet starring Irving himself.
After Irving left Stoker continued his job as a clerk at Dublin Castle. In 1878 he was promoted to Inspector of Petty Sessions, he received a pay raise but this also required him to travel for weeks at a time. Because of this he missed opening nights, so he resigned his job as drama critic of the Dublin Mail.
In 1978 Bram wrote his first book entitled The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, this book outlined how clerks were to carry out their various responsibilities from how to deal with lunatics to how to license dogs. Irving returned several times to Dublin over the next year, he performed at Trinity College, and also performed pieces from Richard III, Othello, and Eugene Aram.Irving then returned to London to star in the play The Lyon’s Mail. Six weeks later Irving called Stoker to Glasgow and announced that he had bought the Lyceum Theater and could offer him the position of acting manager. He immediately resigned his position at Dublin Castle to get ready to go to London. Before he left he married his girlfriend 19 year old Florence Anne Lemon Balcombe on December 4th, 1878. After they were married they left for Birmingham to meet up with Irving, and then on to London.
When Stoker arrived he joined Irving, and Loveday (the stage manager of the Lyceum) spending their time remodeling the 1,500 seat theater for the December 30th, 1878 opening night of Hamlet. By the time the theater finally opened they had amassed a debt of 15,000 pounds ($75,000). Fortunately the play was a hit and ran for 100 nights, at the end of the first season they had taken in 36,000 pounds ($180,000). After several months Iriving returned from a cruise and opened with The Merchant of Venice, which ran for 250 nights. When the season was over Irving and Stoker went on vacation, returning only for the christening of Bram and Florence’s only child Irving Noel Thornley Stoker born December 31st, 1879. During the theater season Stoker rose each morning, dressed, and took the ferry to the Lyceum, spent the day working with Irving, and took the ferry back in the evening.
On the evening of September 14th, 1882 an elderly man jumped off the ferry Stoker was taking home trying to commit suicide. Stoker dove in after him and kept his head above water until a boat came. The man died later that night, but because of Stoker’s bravery he received a bronze medal from the Royal Humane Society. Stoker bestowed this honor on characters in his future stories The Man, and Lady Athlyne. About this same time the p …