Abraham “Bram” Stoker (1847-1912) was an Irish writer and theatrical manager, who spent most of his working life as the theatre manager and friend of the great actor Sir Henry Irving.
Stoker worked for about ten years to produce his most famous work, Dracula in 1897.
Part of the inspiration for Dracula came from a family holiday that Stoker spent at Whitby in Yorkshire in 1890, together with some childhood memories of seeing dessicated corpses in the crypt of a Dublin church. The result was Dracula, published by Constable in 1897 in a striking yellow cloth binding with blood red text. His publisher felt that the original text was a little too long and encouraged Stoker to edit his work to produce an abridged edition. This was published by Constable in 1901, in the most collectible dust wrapper of the 20thcentury.
The book has spawned more films and more imitators than any other book of the 19th or 20th centuries. Images from the 1922 silent film Nosferatuwith Max Schreck as Count Orlok and the 1931 film of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi in the title role have become modern icons.
The 1897 first English edition cover from 1897 and the famous dust wrapper from the abridged version of 1901 are shown below. Both were published by Archibald Constable.