“Qui ne connait Dracula aujourd hui?
Qui connait son auteur, Bram Stoker?”1
The popular assumption that the figure of Bram Stoker has been eclipsed by the fame of his best-known fictional character has, to a certain extent, been generated by the specific needs of modern literary criticism. The author’s life is for the most part obscured and becomes in a sense necessary only where it confirms the critic’s theoretical point — that the text, for example, mobilises or expresses personal neuroses or sexual guilt.2 Arguably, such critical exercises say more about the critic’s own preoccupations and cultural background than they can ever say about those of the author. Equally, the critical attention devoted to Dracula, to the almost-total exclusion of the author’s other writings, betrays not merely that text’s status as a fruitful field for criticism, but acknowledges a popular interest in the Dracula myth which has been generated in part through cinematic adaptations which are at times only nominally based on Stoker’s original plot.3 The cultural concept of Dracula as novel and character, and the associated biographical construction of the author are thus rooted largely in a world that is both post-Freud and post-Lugosi.4 To depart from this consensus, to view Stoker by way of Victorian and Edwardian documents and material culture, is to come face to face with the perverse realization that, in Stoker’s lifetime at least, the creation was probably less well-known than the creator. Indeed, the question must be raised as to how much Stoker himself was regarded as an author rather than as a theatrical personality in his own lifetime.
Abraham Stoker junior was bom at 15, The Crescent, Clontarf, County Dublin, on 8 November 1847. He was a sickly child, who, by his own admission, was not expected to live.5 His father, Abraham senior, was a member of the British civil administration in Ireland, a clerk based in the Chief Secretary’s Office of Dublin Castle. Mundane as this post may sound, he was confident enough to describe his profession as simply “Gentleman” when completing his son’s baptismal certificate at the Anglican parish church of St. John the Baptist, Clontarf, on 3 December 1847.6 Presumably because of his unspecified illness, Abraham junior was educated first at home, and subsequently at a small private day school mn by the Reverend William Woods, a Protestant divine. From this basic information, and from the cultural development of education in the period, it may be deduced that the author’s preuniversity experience was one which schooled him in the discourses and social graces which linked the Anglicised, Irish Gentleman to his English counterpart — Protestantism, the Classics, and the physical culture of a generation influenced by Carlyle and Muscular Christianity.7 It is also worth noting that, despite the financial difficulties that frequently beset large families, Stoker’s brothers followed their father into respectable professional careers: William, George and Richard studied medicine; Tom joined the Indian Civil Service. Bram himself was called to the English Bar in 1890.
On 2 November 1864, at the age of sixteen, Stoker matriculated at Trinity College, Dublin. His college career does not appear to have been academically distinguished. Despite his later claim that he “had got Honours in pure Mathematics”, his name does not appear amongst those who achieved the distinctions of Moderations or Respondency.8 Stoker, still styled as Abraham, received the degree of Bachelor in Arts [sic] at the Spring Commencements on 1 March 1870, and was admitted to the degree of Master in Arts, as was customary at Trinity College, without further study on 9 February 1875.
The author did, however, distinguish himself in other areas of College life, advancing these achievements as integral, rather than supplementary, to the more formal requirements of his scholarly environment. The influence of Carlyle and Kingsley is apparent in the rhetoric of Stoker’s own assessment of his university career:
In my College days I had been Auditor of the Historical Society — a post which corresponds to the Presidency of the Union in Oxford or Cambridge — and had got medals, or certificates, for History, Composition and Oratory. I had been President of the Philosophical Society; had got Honours in pure mathematics. I had won numerous silver cups for races of various kinds. I had played for years in the University football team, where I had received the honour of a “cap”! I was physically immensely strong. In fact I feel justified in saying I represented in my own person something of that aim of university education mens sana in corpore sano9
This phase of Stoker’s life has again been the subject of comparatively little critical attention. Where modern scholarship does touch upon the author’s College career, it is normally in connection with his defence of the poetry of Walt Whitman in the debating chamber.10 An investigation of Stoker’s involvement in the two College debating societies prior to and following his graduation in 1870, however, provides both a fascinating insight into the student preoccupations of the period, and a reminder again of the homosocial, gentlemen’s club-like tenor of College life in the nineteenth century.
Written minutes for the Dublin University Philosophical Society are extant only from the 1867-8 session. These record that “Mr A. Stoker” read a paper entitled “Sensationalism; in Fiction and Society” at a general meeting held on 7 May 1868.11 This paper, Stoker’s first, with his subsequent addresses entitled “Shelley” and “The Means of Improvement in Composition” have not survived. The Philosophical Society did, however, authorise and fund the publication of “The Necessity for Political Honesty”, delivered at the opening meeting of 1872. In the debating chamber of the rival Historical Society, the author’s career is, again, well-documented. It appears that, whatever his personal politics, he adopted a solidly conservative stance in debate, speaking against motions including, “That Vote by Ballot is Desirable”, “That the Social and Political Disabilities of Women Ought to be Removed”, and “That England Should Prepare for an early Emancipation of Her Colonies”. Significantly, given his later contributions to the London journal The Nineteenth Century, he is also listed as a speaker against a motion, “That the Novels of the Nineteenth Century are More Immoral in their Tendency than those of the Eighteenth.”12 The College debating chamber thus appears to be the forum in which the author won his “medals, or certificates”, gaining two silver medals from the Historical Society and a Certificate in Oratory from the Philosophical Society between 1869 and 1870.13
Stoker’s career as a university athlete was equally distinguished. The author is listed as a member of the Dublin University Football Club Second Fifteen for the 1867-8 and 1868-9 seasons. In the lists for the 1869-70 and 1870-1 seasons he is noted as a member of the First Fifteen. Caps were awarded for distinguished play in College Rugby Football from 1867, although all games were played within the College — against the Rowing Club or the Law School, for example — until the 1871-2 season. Stoker, it appears, never became the Dublin equivalent of an Oxbridge “Blue”.14 The “numerous silver cups” mentioned by the author in Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving were awarded for his victories in the Dublin University Foot Races and Seven Mile Walking Race of 1866 and 1868 respectively, and for his success at weightlifting in the Dublin University Gymnasium in 1870.15
Bram Stoker, it appears, was a popular, willing and able participant in the physical and overwhelmingly masculine culture of Trinity College in the eighteen-sixties and eighteen-seventies.16 His experiences at Trinity, it may be argued, concretised the competitive and intellectual attitudes instilled into him during his youth. His graduation was thus another milestone in a process of acculturation which prepared the individual for acceptance within a society of gentlemen sharing similar aspirations and common standards of behaviour. These standards, their relevance to the relative positions of the sexes in Western society, and their apparent ability to transcend the boundaries of race and nationality, were to inform Stoker’s writings from A Glimpse of America to The Lair of the White Worm.
The author’s success in mobilising the discourses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy would appear to be affirmed by his appointment to a Civil Service post within Dublin Castle in 1870, and again by his subsequent promotion to the office of Inspector of Petty Sessions in 1877. In this latter position, Stoker was to research and complete his first published work, Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, a reference book for civil servants working within the Irish legal system. It is during this period, also, that the author’s political beliefs appear to have crystallised, leading him by 1880 to a belief in the principles of Irish Home Rule, and eventually to membership of the National Liberal Club in London.17 There is no evidence to suggest that Stoker ever viewed himself as part of a political or cultural consciousness beyond that possible within an integrated United Kingdom. This apparent lack of an explicit commitment to anything beyond a Liberal conception of Home Rule, coupled with a presumed literary alignment with what W.J. McCormack calls “the London exiles… as against the home-based revivalists”, has ensured Stoker’s exclusion from the heavily-politicised Irish canon of modem criticism.18 The perception of the author upon which this exclusion is based, however, points again to the nature of Stoker’s education and social training — both of which, it may be argued, minimised the disruption of his transition from Dublin society to that of London.
During the early years of his service within Dublin Castle Stoker began to draft a series of short stories, though with little immediate success. Though he published a fantasy, “The Crystal Cup”, in a London-based periodical in 1872, a letter by the author dated 6 October 1874, reveals that another short story, “Jack Hammon’s Vote”, (now lost) was refused in turn by The Cornhill Magazine, Macmillan’s Magazine, Temple Bar and Blackwood’s19 The author was, however, to successfully place three serial pieces with The Shamrock, a Dublin weekly, in 1875. Stoker met with a more favourable reception as the anonymous (and, for the most part, unpaid) dramatic critic for the Dublin Mail, from 1871.20 His experiences as a critic, with the social and political contacts made through his continuing membership of the Philosophical and Historical Societies, appear to have served as the qualifications which obtained for him the editorship of a short-lived evening periodical, The Irish Echo, first published on 6 November 1873.21 He was to resign his editorship four months later, as the periodical, by then renamed The Halfpenny Press, ran into financial difficulties. Stoker was, though, to return to commercial periodical writing. He was an occasional contributor to the London Daily Telegraph, specialising in the public activities of well-known theatrical personalities, although his motives here appear to have been linked to publicity and to his social connection with the editor, rather than pecuniary gain.22 He supplied articles on the theatre and literature to the London monthly The Nineteenth Century between 1890 and 1911 — again, it might appear, partly as a consequence of his friendship with the journal’s editor, James Knowles. With the publisher William Heinemann he was a partner in the latter’s venture into English-language publishing for the Continental Market, a rival to the Tauchnitz series marketed under the imprint of Heinemann and Balestier.23 Finally, during his later years, when his finances were at a low ebb, he supplied a series of illustrated interviews, again with old associates, for a popular London newspaper, The Daily Chronicle.
Much of Stoker’s non-fictional writing, as has been suggested, concerned the theatre. The central figure in Stoker’s theatrical cosmology was the Victorian actor-manager, Henry (later, Sir Henry) Irving. Stoker’s description of his first protracted encounter with the man who was to become his professional and social associate is frequently quoted but bears repeating. At an after-dinner gathering of a dozen men, Irving recited Thomas Hood’s dramatic narrative poem The Dream of Eugene Aram, physically collapsing at its climax. Stoker confides:
As to its effect, I had no adequate words. I can only say that after a few seconds of stony silence following his collapse I burst out into something like a violent fit of hysterics…. In those moments of our mutual emotion he too had found a friend and knew it. Soul had looked into soul! From that hour began a friendship as profound, as close, as lasting as can be between two men.24
It has been argued that Stoker’s perception of his relationship with Irving differed markedly from that perceived by the actor.25 The author’s insistence upon the strongly homosocial bond which, he argued, persisted between himself and Irving is, however, mirrored in at least two of the obituaries that followed Stoker’s death. The New York Times noted that:
As the fidus Achates of Henry Irving, and later as his Boswell, Bram Stoker, who has just died in London, gained international fame…. Irving placed implicit confidence in Stoker’s judgement and business sense, while Stoker looked upon Irving as the only supremely great man in the world.26
Elsewhere, the Manx novelist, Hall Caine, a close friend of both men, argued in favour of the author’s version of the relationship:
Much has been said of his relation to Henry Irving, but I wonder how many were really aware of the whole depth and significance of that association. Bram seemed to give up his life to it. .. I say without any hesitation that never have I seen, never do I expect to see, such absorption of one man’s life in the life of another.27
It would seem, therefore, that the public viewed Stoker largely as an appendage of Irving, or of the Lyceum Theatre, rather than as an individual in his own right.28 A report of Stoker’s attempt to rescue a Thames suicide, for example, describes the author as Irving’s “faithful Bram”.29 Stoker appears to have fostered this impression so that, as Ellen Terry concedes, in the Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, the author “described everyone connected with the Lyceum except himself.”30
Irving invited Stoker to become his Acting Manager following a visit to Dublin towards the close of 1878. Stoker’s acceptance of Irving’s offer caused him to bring forward the date of his marriage to Florence Balcombe, who numbered Oscar Wilde among her former suitors.31 The author was to retain his position, which made him Irving’s accountant, secretary, and public spokesman for twenty-seven years, until the actor’s death in 1905. There is evidence to suggest that Stoker wrote at least some of the speeches delivered by the actor between 1878 and 1905. A letter written by L.F. Austin, Irving’s private secretary, dated simply March 1885, reveals further that Stoker was the author of an article published that year under Irving’s name in The Fortnightly Review.32 Stoker was the major practical organiser of the Lyceum Company’s provincial seasons, and of eight tours made in the United States. Eight of the author’s novels, including Dracula, were therefore completed on a part-time basis during Stoker’s working lifetime. Irving’s death, which came at the end of a long period of physical debilitation and financial hardship, signalled the beginning of what may be read as a consequent decline in Stoker’s personal fortunes. Quite simply, the author had made little professional or financial provision for a life outside of the theatre. Stoker’s health, also, was by this time in visible decline. It has been stated that he was a sufferer from Bright’s Disease (nephritis) as early as 1897.33 At the beginning of 1906 the author also experienced a paralytic stroke which prostrated him for some months, and left him with disturbed vision. He appears to have experienced a further collapse, which he explains as the consequence of overwork, in 1909 or 1910.34
It was during the forced convalescence following his stroke that Stoker researched and wrote Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, the biography for which the author’s contemporaries believed he would be chiefly remembered.35 Though this work, which was republished within twelve months in a cheaper edition, was on the whole a commercial success, it could in no way be considered as the financial foundation of a second career in the wake of Irving’s demise. The paperback volume of theatrical short stories, Snowbound, and the romantic novel, Lady Athlyne, both published in 1908, appear to have brought the author little financial reward, neither reaching a second edition. Stoker, therefore, embarked upon a succession of new ventures, each of which taxed his waning energy whilst bringing him limited remuneration. He became the business manager to a West End musical production of The Vicar of Wakefield, scripted by Laurence Housman and produced by the American opera singer, David Bispham. The production closed after two months. He then undertook a lecture tour in the English provinces which terminated, apparently at short notice, in Sheffield. Finally, he gained a short appointment as organiser of the British section of the 1908 Paris Theatrical Exhibition. At the same time, he was active in commercial journalism, publishing a number of non-fictional articles in the United Kingdom and the United States, and a series of interviews in the London press. This was, indeed, his most productive phase as a writer of fiction: just under half of his fictional publications came to fruition within a period of seven years. But the financial rewards were, again, light compared with the output.
By 1911 Stoker faced an acute financial crisis. As his application for a grant from the Royal Literary Fund reveals, his income was now significantly dependent upon his work as an author. Stoker’s income for 1910, according to his application, totalled £409 from investments, and just over £166 from literary work, including, presumably, the advance for his final novel, The Lair of the White Worm36 The Committee of the Royal Literary Fund, after considering Stoker’s application and the letters of reference supplied by Anne Ritchie, Henry F. Dickens and W. S. Gilbert, awarded the author a grant of £100 on 9 March 1911. He was, however, by this time terminally ill. He died at his home in Pimlico, London, on 20 April 1911, leaving his whole estate, which had a net value of just over £4,664, to his wife. Although one biographer has argued that the author was a victim of tertiary syphilis, the death certificate, with its enigmatic coda, “exhaustion”, is far from conclusive.37 Stoker was cremated following a quiet service at Golders Green, London, which was attended by Hall Caine, Genevieve Ward, Ford Madox Hueffer and Laurence Irving, the actor’s second son.
Stoker’s obituary in The Times conceded that, though the author would most likely be remembered for his biography of Irving, he was also “the master of a particularly lurid and creepy kind of fiction, represented by Dracula and other novels.”38 That said, it must be stated that only five of Stoker’s eleven novels — Dracula (1897), The Mystery of the Sea (1902), The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903), The Lady of the Shroud (1909), and The Lair of the White Worm (1911) — may be regarded as unequivocally Gothic. In addition, two of the author’s three volumes of short fiction — Under the Sunset (1882) and the posthumous Dracula’s Guest (1914) — draw perceptibly (though not exclusively) upon Gothic and supernatural motifs. The remaining novels, together with much of the short and serial fiction, can be classified as popular romances which embody on occasion elements characteristic of the Gothic novel or of the late-Victorian adventure story. The whole range of Stoker’s fiction is, however, informed by a fairly consistent complex of themes and discourses, most of which may be related without irony back to the author’s cultural environment.
The author’s construction of heroic masculinity, for example, is largely dependent on a conception of mens sana in corpore sano similar to that mentioned in connection with his own university career in Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving?39 It is a complex of signification which draws on a Spartan doctrine of self-improvement through struggle, similar to that expounded in Book Three of Carlyle’s Past and Present:
Here too thou shalt be strong of heart, noble of soul; thou shalt dread no pain or death, thou shalt not love ease or life…. thou shalt be a Knight and not a Chactaw, if thou wouldst prevail!40
The key phrase here is “thou shalt not love ease”. Stoker’s heroes frequently undertake purgative and intensely physical journeys into the wilderness in order to attain or to recover their manhood. Rupert Sent Leger in The Lady of the Shroud, for example, travels to Madagascar and to the Himalayas, in order to effect a rite de passage from childhood dependency to adult independence. Rafe Otwell in Miss Betty, goes out, in his own words, “to purge my sin and to win honour again”, and recovers his sense of chivalry whilst fighting against Turkish slavery in the East.41 Harold AnWolf, the hero of The Man, discharges what he perceives as the baser qualities of his nature through toil in the Yukon. Arthur Severn in Stoker’s first novel, The Snake’s Pass, is able, similarly, to consider the coast of County Clare as a symbolic border country to be developed by hard work and colonialist ingenuity. All return from their experience morally and physically strengthened, transformed into fitting partners for the courageous women they will ultimately marry. Such activities are, therefore, crucial to the basic romantic script that characterises much of the author’s fiction. As Harold is informed in The Man, by such struggles “You will prove yourself, your manhood, your worthiness to love and be loved”.42 The implication is that such periods of physical and mental endurance constitute the final gesture in a process of self-development: they are a modem version of the knightly vigil.
On attaining their manhood, Stoker’s heroes become at times self-conscious participants in the Victorian and Edwardian discourse of modem chivalry. The principle of chivalric activity penetrates the concept of the hero, making him also a gentleman, his actions as well as his morals a reflection, not always explicit, of a knightly ideal. The emblematically-named English hero Arthur Severn, for example, amuses himself by quoting Tennyson’s courtly Idyll, Enid, and engages finally in the chivalric defence of an Irish maiden beset by a rapacious and greedy neighbour, one of her own countrymen. Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming, in Dracula, similarly shares a concern for what he describes as “my honour as a gentleman [and] my faith as a Christian” and, indeed, mobilises both during his membership of a group of essentially errant males, banded together in defence of a vulnerable female “as the old Knights of the Cross”, in Van Helsing’s words.43 Similar motivations characterise the majority of Stoker’s heroes, who are, for the best part, professional or titled men—barristers, doctors, landowners, or professional soldiers. Chivalric behaviour — or “natural” chivalry — is not exclusively determined by social class, however. “Sailor” Willy Barrow, in the Scottish tale The Watter’s Mou’, is tempted by a romantic involvement to neglect his duties as a coastguard. His rejection of the temptation, and devotion both to his professional honour and to the heroine, with whom he is subsequently found drowned, is again characteristic of an approved pattern of male behaviour in the author’s fiction. Chivalry, it appears, is a common standard of behaviour which, when recognised or displayed, may excite the empathy of similar men across all social classes.
Chivalry and masculinity function equally, however, as motifs through which racial issues may be channelled, in such a way as to provide a point of intersection between the portrayed aspirations of the British and other culturally “Western” nations. On one level, Stoker’s fictionalisation of the racial questions of his day draws upon the motif of struggle in self-development, and considers its possible relationship to the renewal or expansion of the nation. The purified hero, when recognised as such, may become a leader of men:
… the men around closed in upon the Gospodar like a wave of the sea, and in a second held him above their heads, tossing on their lifted hands as if on stormy breakers. It was as though the old vikings of whom we have heard, and whose blood flows in Rupert’s veins, were choosing a chief in old fashion.
Hence, Rupert Sent Leger’s activities in the Balkans lead to the restructuring of a non-aligned country into “an ally of Britain — who will stand at least as an outpost of our nation”.44 The alliance is based on a recognition not merely of strong leadership, but on a common racial heritage and identity also. A recurrent pattern of colonization effected essentially in reverse, however, occurs elsewhere in Stoker’s fiction: male members of the Anglo-Saxon race reared abroad return to the “home country”, where their presence (and ultimately marriage within the local community) renews the local racial stock. Adam Salton, the Australian-born hero of The Lair of the White Worm, for example, returns to England as heir of the last-remaining member of his family—or, as his uncle terms it, of “our race”.45 Once in England, his colonial resourcefulness becomes a crucial factor in the downfall of a degenerate aristocrat whose occult activities threaten the region. The Texan, Quincey Morris, fulfils a broadly similar role in Dracula. A major implication embedded in writings of this type is that the Anglo-Saxon raised overseas in a pioneering spirit embodies in his character a vision of personal and national culture that is in decline at the centre of the Empire. The essence of racial identity and achievement is thus brought home to act as a catalyst on a nation moving slowly towards decline. Chivalry is again a crucial factor in this cultural renaissance, particularly in the author’s construction of characters bom in the United States. Stoker states in his early monograph, A Glimpse of America, for example, that:
One of the most marked characteristics of American Life is the high regard in which woman is held. It seems, now and then, as if a page of an old book of chivalry had been taken as the text of a social law.46
Modem chivalry, in a sense, has overwritten race and in so doing has affirmed the racial tie. The maturity and lineage of the United States as “England’s first-born child” (to recall a phrase from A Glimpse of America) is thus verified through the unfeigned and spontaneous masculine chivalry of what Stoker sees as its representative classes.47 Beyond the fictionalisation of American manhood, it is notable also that the author elsewhere scripts three of his British heroes — Archibald Hunter in The Mystery of the Sea, Lord Athlyne in Lady Athlyne, and Reginald Hampden in The Shoulder of Shasta — as marrying American heroines. Again, the racial and political implications are clear; as indeed they are in the marriage between the emblematically named Balkan heroine, Teuta, and the British adventurer, Rupert Sent Leger, in The Lady of the Shroud.
Stoker’s fictionalisation of the female and of female sexuality is, to a certain extent, dependent upon the same racial discourses that structure his heroes. Though his heroines at first sight embody the prevalent nineteenth-century view of a destiny and temperament determined in the first instance by personal biology, it is apparent that gender in Stoker’s novels exists in an often tense relationship with race. When under threat, Teuta, in The Lady of the Shroud, takes up arms with a teutonic militancy that echoes her Christian name. In less warlike circumstances, however, she is, in her own words, “as any other wife in our land, equal to them in domestic happiness, which is our woman’s sphere… an exemplar of woman’s rectitude.”48 As an inheritor of “the blood of forty generations of loyal women”, her submission to the male is thus not a denial of “the fighting blood of her race” but, perversely, its ironic affirmation.49 Similar behaviour is exhibited by the American heroines of Lady Athlyne and The Mystery of the Sea, both of whom, following a period of personal initiative, submit without resistance to the directives of their marital partners. Arguably, race is a resource which may be drawn upon in times of crisis. Gender, which, Stoker argues, inspires in the Anglo-Saxon woman both modesty and submission, is, however, both unavoidable and the most powerful factor in the individual’s character, reasserting its dominance as soon as the crisis is over.
The crises which are endured by Stoker’s heroines exist, however, essentially as opportunities for the physical and emotional display of the female. In consequence, the sexual threats to which the heroines are subjected trace a fine line between prurience and outrage. There are implications of possible rape written into the abductions in The Lady of the Shroud and The Mystery of the Sea, and an oblique though protracted scene of seduction in Lady Athlyne. Again, in a similarly protracted scene in The Jewel of Seven Stars, the hero witnesses the display of the naked body of Tera, an Egyptian Queen who is the physiological double of his fiancee. The outraged modesty of the fiancee, notably, brings the scene to a close as she forcibly covers the prone body. Elsewhere, Mina Harker’s sexualised submission to the vampire Count, the apparent sexual rapacity of the dying Lucy Westenra in Dracula, and the marriage proposal issued as a polemical gesture by Stephen Norman in The Man, provide an ironic suggestion of apparently uncharacteristic though short-lived erotic urges in heroines who are rapidly restored to a conventional passivity by the exercise of masculine power. Stoker’s texts function in such cases rather in the manner of a rhetorical question. The heroines are displayed at the brink of real or encoded sexual transgression, or in the act of self-abasement. The narratives subsequently restore them to penitence or to a retraction of their waywardness, and finally to a culturally conventional modesty — through marriage, or, in the case of Lucy, through another coded sexual act. Perversely, Stoker’s heroines are both erotic and virginal, morally innocent and yet sexually aware: it is the final closure of each text, therefore, that ensures their continued cultural acceptance as, to recall Van Helsing’s words, “sweet, sweet, good, good” women.50
It is easy to categorise Stoker as a hack writer, and easier to suggest that his writings before and after Dracula are unexceptionable, participating in rather than challenging the dominant discourses of his day.51 This is a consequence of the emphasis placed by the critical establishment upon a single text. But, it may be argued, the author’s manipulation of his materials is frequently effected in such a way as to produce not merely irony in the midst of supposed conventionality, but at times a marked redirection of their discursive energy. One example must suffice here. In Dracula the author constructs a psychology for the vampire which, as Mina Harker recognises, may have been drawn without comment from the writings of Cesare Lombroso and Max Nordau. Daniel Pick, Ernest Fontana and Victor Sage have argued that the physiognomy of Dracula is intimate to this portrayed psychology.52 Stoker’s vampire is, in nineteenth-century cultural terms, a multiplex signifier of personal and racial degeneration: the pointed ears and squat fingers suggest the ape, the “peculiarly sharp white teeth” and pointed fingernails signify predatory, carnivorous appetites, the pallor and hairy palms recall the “degenerate” behaviour of the modern-day onanist.53 But at the same time, the vampire signifies in his person qualities that, though loathsome, are perversely admirable. Harker’s admiration is thinly veiled, for example, in his admission that the Count displayed “astonishing vitality in a man of his years”; Van Helsing’s is even less so in his assessment of Dracula’s achievement:
He have done this alone; all alone! from a ruin tomb in a forgotten land. What more may he not do when the greater world of thought is open to him?54
More than one set of evaluative criteria is clearly in use here. The vampire is “degenerate”, and yet is poised to equal, if not surpass, those who have judged him so. Arguably, the fascination and admiration of both commentators comes from an appreciation of his abstract power, so that the signifiers of degeneration, being at the same time signifiers of difference, have their cultural or discursive energy redirected.
Count Dracula, however, is but one of several similarly-constructed characters in Stoker’s fiction. Indeed, Don Bernardino de Escoban in The Mystery of the Sea is, arguably, a more complex figure in that he is both mortal and a participant in contemporary politics. Like Count Dracula, the Don is a nobleman of ancient family, and displays an explicitly “cruel” aquiline countenance:
As he spoke, the canine teeth began to show. He knew what he had to tell was wrong; and being determined to brazen it out, the cruelty which lay behind his strength became manifest at once. Somehow at that moment the racial instinct manifested itself.55
Unlike Dracula, however, the Don is a participant in the same discourse of chivalric masculinity that mobilises the novel’s hero, Archibald Hunter. Don Bernardino’s physiognomy, like that of the vampire, is awesome in that it is the visible manifestation of the qualities that permit the survival of a dynasty, that allow an individual to cross the centuries in reputation, if not in the characteristics inherited by his descendants.56 The racial inheritance, which is closely aligned here with familial identity, becomes a resource upon which both men may draw in the interests of survival.
This resource, however, must remain a reserve, rather than becoming a predominant principle for personal action. In Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, the author renders Alfred, Lord Tennyson, through a similar process of signification:
Tennyson had at times that lifting of the upper lip which shows the canine tooth, and which is so marked an indication of militant instinct.57
The association of these elsewhere cruel, atavistic or degenerate qualities with a specific standard of manliness is thus the determining factor both in the description of Tennyson, and in that of the fictional Don Bernardino. The self-restraint, altruism and respeet for the female associated with the conventional encoding of the gentleman ensures that these “degenerate” qualities are restrained until needed. Given purpose by circumstances, they become a potential upon which the gentleman may draw in the name or cause of honour, above and beyond the demands of personal survival. With his commitment to chivalry ratified by his death in defence of the heroine, the Don loses in the final account his cultural negativity. As is frequently the case with Stoker’s heroines, a conflict between race and gender has seemingly been enacted. The fighting attributes of the race, signified by the exposure of the explicitly “cruel” canine tooth, are held in check by a chivalry that is, by its spontaneity, both “natural” and hereditary. The cultural energy of the signifier has thus, apparently, been turned back upon itself.
This introduction has, to a great extent, set itself self-consciously against the two major characteristics of modem Stoker criticism: namely, the frequently aired conclusions that the author was a hack writer, and that Dracula was his only achievement. It has sought to avoid, also, the psychobiographical approach that has characterised much of the published criticism examining Stoker’s texts, and has attempted to return the texts to the Victorian and Edwardian cultural context in which the author was a participant. With the approach of the centenary of Dracula in 1997, there has never been a better opportunity to reappraise not merely Stoker, but also the technique of criticism currently employed in a limited though undeniably fruitful area of the critical field.
This Bibliography aims to list each distinguishable edition of Stoker’s books, noting the occurrence of variations in title, subtitle, or the style of the author’s name. It cannot, however, pretend to provide a comprehensive handlist of the author’s publications, particularly in the case of Dracula. In many cases minimal — if any — changes separate publications designated as “new” or different editions by their publishers. For example, in 1895 The Shoulder of Shasta was issued in Macmillan’s Colonial Library using the printing plates created for the Constable First Edition.58 The various reprints published over a period of almost fifteen years by Jarrolds and Arrow similarly betray through their pagination a limited range of changes. Each edition listed within the bibliography, however, shows some variation on the title page or verso — if only the announcement of a new edition or the incorporation of a revised publication date. Pagination details for the volumes listed have been included wherever possible, although it is regretted that information regarding some of the more scarce material has been gained from sight of reproduced title pages supplied by libraries and archives, rather than from first-hand contact with the actual volumes. Reproductions of the title pages of all of Stoker’s British First Editions may be found in Richard Dalby’s excellent study, Bram Stoker. A Bibliography of First Editions.
Stoker’s short stories, and his largely uncollected corpus of interviews and journalism have been listed in order of first publication. Two short stories uncovered since the publication of Dalby’s Bibliography of First Editions are listed here for the first time, as is a previously unknown Introduction to a volume of fiction by Stoker’s close friend Hall Caine. One or two pieces of short fiction — most notably the short story “In the Valley of the Shadow”, first published in The Grand Magazine — have been listed only in their reprinted form, again because of the unavailability of the original periodicals. The same is true of the author’s largely anonymous contributions to the Irish Press.
Stoker’s personal library, manuscripts and paintings were disposed of by his widow through a series of three sales organised by Sotheby’s of London. Of six manuscript items sold in the first sale of 1913, only one — the manuscript notes of Dracula, now in the Rosenbach Library and Museum, Philadelphia — remain in the public domain. The remainder, namely the manuscripts of Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, The Lady of the Shroud, Under the Sunset, The Lair of the White Worm and the last four stories in Snowbound, are presumably in private collections. Other items, including the bound manuscripts of “The Secret of the Growing Gold” and A Glimpse of America, and the first draft of Miss Betty, were sold at a second sale in 1915 to the London rare book dealers Maggs Brothers. Much of this material was eventually transferred to the Brotherton Collection, held at Leeds University Library. The incomplete manuscript of Famous Imposters, sold at the same sale, is now in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. Materials sold at the 1916 sale but never traced include the manuscript of an unpublished article on Tennyson, and the outline notes to The Snake’s Pass. There are probably hundreds of manuscript letters by the author, mostly on theatrical matters, in private collections worldwide. Details of letters written to Stoker have been included in the Bibliography where these remain in the public domain.
The Bibliography has sought to include a wide range of contemporary review and obituary material. Passing references to Stoker in his capacity as Irving’s Acting Manager can also be found in contemporary and modem studies of fin-de-siecle theatre culture, and in the theatre journals of the author’s lifetime. This contemporary material has been supplemented by a detailed list of modem studies considering the author and his works. It must be remembered, however, that Dracula in particular is treated at shorter length in many studies of nineteenth-century fiction and culture.59 The modern critical studies listed in this Bibliography are, inevitably, being supplemented continuously in response to the popular as well as scholarly interest in the author. With this in mind, I should be grateful for corrections and addenda from the files of other scholars active in the field.
Many friends and colleagues have drawn my attention to Stoker items, or to relevant material subsequently incorporated in this Bibliography. I should like to acknowledge in particular the assistance of Dr Antonio Ballasteros Gonzalez, Mr David Lass, Mr William Murphy, Ms Diane Mason, Dr Richard Deswarte, Mr Dennis McIntyre, Dr Graham Ford and Dr Robert Mighall, all of whom supplied information not available to me in Bath. I am also grateful for the support received from my colleagues at Bath College of Higher Education, and to Dr Neil Sammells, Dean of Humanities, for making research funds available for this project. Special thanks go also to Dr Jeff Rodman, to Ms Sarah Briggs, and to Mr Ian Lovell of the BCHE Computing Centre. I am grateful also for the advice and support supplied by Ms Alita Thorpe, Dr Victor Sage, Dr Roger Sales, Dr Mary C. Lyons, Dr Andy Smith and Martin and Anna Wrigley.
This Bibliography could not have been completed without the assistance of the many libraries, whose staff have made available, frequently at short notice, rare manuscript material and obscure reprints. These include the Libraries of the University of East Anglia, Trinity College Dublin, Cambridge University, Ohio State University and the University of Mississippi, as well as the Bodleian Library, the National Library of Ireland, the Brotherton Collection at Leeds University, the Rosenbach Library, Philadelphia and the Deutsche Bibliothek, Frankfort.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this Bibliography to two people whose support has been both consistent and honest: Elaine Hartnell and Benjamin Fisher.
Bath, December 1996.
- Alain Garsault, “Review of Bram Stoker. Prince des Tenebres“, Positif 353 (1990): 128. [↩]
- E.g. Daniel Farson, The Man Who Wrote Dracula, London: Michael Joseph, 1975, pp.233-5. [↩]
- For example, Dracula AD. 1972, (U.K.: Hammer, 1972). See: Leslie Shepard, “Bram Stoker and the Cinema”, The Bram Stoker Society Journal 1 (1995): 2-12. [↩]
- Bela Lugosi played the title role in the 1931 Universal Pictures production of Dracula, the first film of the novel produced with the permission of Stoker’s widow. [↩]
- Bram Stoker, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, 2 Vols., London: William Heinemann, 1906, Vol.l, p.31. [↩]
- Entry number 62 in the Parish Register of the church of St. John the Baptist, Clontarf, Dublin. [↩]
- For an account of the culture of formal education in this period see: M. Girouard, The Return to Camelot. Chivalry and the English Gentleman, London: Yale University Press, 1981, pp.164-76; J.R. de S. Honey, Tom Brown’s Universe. The Development of the Public School in the Nineteenth Century, London: Millington 1977, passim. [↩]
- Under the regulations of the University of Dublin, candidates deemed to have passed their degree with Honours were termed “Moderators”. Candidates for ordinary degrees who had passed with special merit were awarded “Respondency”. A search of the Muniment Records of the University of Dublin, dated between 1864 and 1880, reveals that Stoker was not awarded either distinction. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol. l, p.32. [↩]
- E.g., D.R. Perry, “Whitman’s Influence on Stoker’s Dracula”, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 3 (1986): 29-35. [↩]
- Undergraduate Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin, Minute Book 1861-7. Entry dated 7 May 1868. [↩]
- College Historical Society Address, 1872, Appendix, p. 51 [National Library of Ireland: P. 1399(20)]. [↩]
- See: College Historical Society Address, 1872, Appendix, pp.40-1; Undergraduate Philosophical Society Minute Book 1861-7, 25 Nov 1869. [↩]
- The Committee of the Dublin University Football Club, Dublin University Football Club 1854-1954, Dublin: Mountford, 1954, pp.50-2, p.65. [↩]
- Farson 1975, p.18. Farson also notes a further cup presented in 1868 by the CSAS — possibly the Athletics society of the Irish Civil Service. [↩]
- See: C. Sweeting, “Bram Stoker”, in J.P. Cinnamond ed., University Philosophical Society, Trinity College Dublin, Centenary Review, Dublin: The Centenary Committee of the Philosophical Society, 1953, p.52. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol.l, p.343; Who Was Who, London: A & C Black, 1935, p.680. [↩]
- W.J. McCormack, “Irish Gothic and After (1820-1945)”, in S. Deane ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol. 2, Londonderry: Field Day, 1991, p.845. [↩]
- National Library of Scotland: MS4325 /240. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, p.13. Stoker’s early theatre criticism is almost impossible to trace with accuracy due to the modern-day scarcity of the periodicals to which he was a contributor. A few extracts are, however, reprinted in Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. The volume also includes his Dublin Mail account of the University Night held in honour of Irving at the Theatre Royal Dublin on 11 Dec 1876: Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, p.22, pp.26-7, pp.37-40. [↩]
- H. Ludlam, A Biography of Dracula. The Life Story of Bram Stoker, London: Foulsham, 1962, pp.33-4. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, p.287. [↩]
- See: John St. John, William Heinemann, A Century of Publishing 1890-1990, London: Heinemann, 1990, p.20. [↩]
- The incident took place on the evening of 3 Dec 1876: Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, pp.31-3. [↩]
- L. Irving, Henry Irving. The Actor and His World, London: Columbus Books, 1989, p.453, cf. p.444; E. Terry, “First Years at the Lyceum. The Story of What Henry Irving did for the English Stage”, McClure’s Magazine 30 (1908): 374. [↩]
- The New York Times, 23 April 1912: 12. [↩]
- Hall Caine, “Bram Stoker. The Story of a Great Friendship”, The Daily Telegraph, 24 April 1912: 16. Caine, as “Hommy Beg”, was the dedicatee of Dracula, as he explains in this obituary account of Stoker’s life. [↩]
- Witness the title of Stoker’s obituary in The Daily Telegraph, “Death of Mr. Bram Stoker. Sir H. Irving’s Manager”, The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 1912: 6. [↩]
- The Entr’acte, 23 Sept 1882: 4, cf. Caine 1912, p. 16. [↩]
- Terry 1908, p.374. [↩]
- The Stokers were married at St. Ann’s Church, Dublin, on 4 Dec 1878 [Entry number 120 in the Church Register]. For correspondence connected with the relationship between Oscar Wilde and Florence Balcombe see: Farson 1975, pp.41-2, pp.60-1. [↩]
- Item 316 in this Bibliography. See: Irving 1989, pp.452-3. [↩]
- Farson 1975, p.232. [↩]
- See: Stoker’s letter to the Committee of the Royal Literary Fund, dated 25 Feb 1911, held at the British Library, London: British Library M1077/117 [Correspondence of the Royal Literary Fund, File 2841]. [↩]
- See: “Bram Stoker”, The New York Times, 23 April 1912: 12.; Caine 1912, p. 16. [↩]
- British Library M1077/117. [↩]
- Farson 1975, pp.233-5, cf. p.223. [↩]
- “Death of Mr. Bram Stoker”, The Times 22 April 1912: 15, rpt in Ludlam 1962, p.150. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, p.32. [↩]
- Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, ed. A.M.D. Hughes, Oxford: Clarendon, 1927, p.172. [↩]
- Bram Stoker, Miss Betty, London: C. Arthur Pearson, 1898, p. 176< [↩]
- Bram Stoker, The Man, London: William Heinemann, 1905, p.318. [↩]
- Bram Stoker, Dracula, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983, p.205, cf. p.314; p.320 [↩]
- Bram Stoker, The Lady of the Shroud, London: William Heinemann, 1909, p.230, p.297 [↩]
- Bram Stoker, The Lair of the White Worm, rpt in Dracula and The Lair of the White Worm, London: Foulsham, 1986, p.336. [↩]
- Bram Stoker, A Glimpse of America, London: Sampson Low, Marston, 1886, p.28. [↩]
- Stoker 1886, p.47. [↩]
- Stoker 1909, pp.319-20, cf. pp.227-8. [↩]
- Stoker 1909, p.319, p.240. [↩]
- Stoker 1983, p.308. [↩]
- See: A.N. Wilson’s, “Introduction” to the Oxford University Press “World’s Classics” series Dracula, Stoker 1983, p.x, p.xviii; cf. C. Leatherdale, Dracula. The Novel and the Legend, Northampton: Aquarian, 1985, pp.94-5. [↩]
- Stoker 1983, p.342; D. Pick, “Terrors of the Night: Dracula and ‘Degeneration’ in the Late-Nineteenth Century”, Critical Quarterly 30 (1988): 71-87; E. Fontana, “Lombroso’s Criminal Man and Stoker’s Dracula”, Victorian Newsletter 66 (1984): 25-7; V. Sage, Horror Fiction in the Protestant Tradition, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988, pp. 180-5. [↩]
- Stoker 1983, pp. 17-8. [↩]
- Stoker 1983, p. 17, p.321. [↩]
- Bram Stoker, The Mystery of the Sea, London: William Rider, 1913, p.328. [↩]
- Don Bernardino is portrayed throughout as the descendant of an earlier de Escoban, whose image is viewed supernaturally by Hunter. See also Stoker 1983, p.28-9, p.240. [↩]
- Stoker 1906, Vol. 1, p. 167. [↩]
- R. Dalby, Bram Stoker. A Bibliography of First Editions, London: Dracula, 1983, p.22. [↩]
- E.g., D. Punter, The Literature of Terror Vol.2, London: Longman, 1996, pp.15-22; S.M. Gilbert and S. Gubar, No Man’s Land, Vol. 2, “Sexchanges”, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, pp.22-5; F. Botting, Gothic, London: Routledge, 1996, pp. 145-54. [↩]