Little Bits of History

The Count

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 18, 2011

First edition of Dracula

May 18, 1897: Bram Stoker publishes the novel, Dracula. Abraham Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 outside of Dublin, Ireland. He was an invalid as a toddler, but made a complete recovery by the age seven when he first went to school. He was a isolated child and spent much time daydreaming. He eventually went to Trinity College in Dublin and graduated with honors with a degree in mathematics. He was also interested in history and philosophy.

After graduation, he worked as a civil servant. He also worked as a theater reviewer and wrote for The Dublin Mail. He met and married Florence Balcombe, Oscar Wilde’s paramour. During this time he also befriended Henry Irving. The Stokers moved to London where Irving introduced Bram to the elite of the area. Stoker managed the Lyceum Theatre for 27 years.

He also wrote many thrilling novels while living in England. After researching European folklore and vampire history for eight years, he wrote his most famous novel – Dracula. It is written as a collection of diary entries, telegrams, letters, and clippings from various newspapers. The book itself is a study of Victorian history, culture, and mores. There are sub themes revealing then-current views on women, sexuality, and immigration.

While Stoker invented Count Dracula, it is not the first literary mention of the name Dracula. During his research, he read a book from 1820 that mentioned Voivode Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. In the book, it was stated that Dracula meant devil in the language of the area. Vlad the Impaler did fight the Turks. He was not, however, a vampire. Nor was he a count. But he had a really catchy name.

“I wish I had a kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula and Superman away.” – Jack Handy

“This is an area you always need to address when you’re dealing with Dracula is the fact that there is something kind of attractive in his darkness – which there isn’t in other horror characters.” – Richard Roxburgh

“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.” – Bram Stoker

“I sometimes think we must all be mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-waistcoats.” – Bram Stoker

“I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome . . .” – Bram Stoker

Also on this day:
3,858 Years Old? – In 1952 Professor Libby dates the building Stonehenge.
Vicksburg – In 1863, the Siege of Vicksburg began.

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