Forgotten Authors No. 38: Bram Stoker

Of course he wrote that book, but Abraham Stoker (1847-1912) wrote 15 others besides. Nearly all of his output appears to have vanished, eclipsed by the novel with which he will forever be associated. Admittedly, no one now will want to thumb through his 1879 non-fiction book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, but there are other works that share common themes with Dracula. Given the immense success of the novel that influences a vast body of vampire fiction, from the drippy Twilight to the brilliant Let the Right One In, you'd think anything that enlightens us further would be readily available.

Whether "Dracula's Guest" was actually the excised first chapter of the novel or not, it serves as an excellent curtain-raiser. In this, an unnamed Englishman survives an encounter with an undead countess in a graveyard (she's handily despatched with a bolt of lightning), only to be summoned by the count to his castle. The story was always found heading up collections of Stoker's short fiction.

Much has been made of the author's early childhood sickliness, and the way in which it created an interest in supernatural fiction, but a glance at his other novels reveals that Stoker was capable of inventing a range of occult tropes, from the disturbing blanched creature that rears its head in The Lair of the White Worm (1911), to his mummy-revivification tale, The Jewel of the Seven Stars (1903), which had its original grisly ending lopped off and replaced with something more upbeat. The Lady of the Shroud (1909) starts brilliantly, with what appears to be a female vampire in a floating coffin, but transforms into a rather turgid tale of Balkan nationalism. More interesting are Stoker's fairy tales, such as "How Seven Went Mad" and "The Invisible Giant", and the supernatural stories, the best of which is the palpable evil of "The Judge's House". Some of Stoker's short fiction remains uncollected. The author did not visit the Eastern Europe outlined in his imagination but chose instead to befriend America, where Dracula was transformed through film into one of the 20th century's most enduring fables.

And here, perhaps, is another reason why authors' works are left behind. Thanks to its endless reinventions on film, Dracula has a timeless visual appeal that his other works now lack, so the intriguing collection Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party (1908) has completely disappeared, while Dracula, like its titular character, lives on.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk