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ISBN:0753802163
Author: Barbara Belford
ISBN13: 978-0753802168
Title: Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of " Dracula " (Phoenix Giants)
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ePUB size: 1139 kb
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Language: English
Category: Arts and Literature
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History; New Ed edition (1997)
Pages: 400

Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of " Dracula " (Phoenix Giants) by Barbara Belford



The upshot of "Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Man Who Wrote Dracula" is that Bram Stoker was a modest, hardworking man, exceedingly courteous even by Victorian standards, whose tireless work for Henry Irving was acknowledged by many but unappreciated and unrewarded by Irving himself. Stoker's genial but reserved manner harbored passionate, worshipful emotions toward his heroes, invariably men of power with larger-than-life personalities. Belford draws an occasional parallel between persons in Bram Stoker's own life and characters in "Dracula". Belford says the characters in & were based on people known to Stoker (. 84). Stoker became a barrister in 1890 but never practiced law or tried a case (. 93). In the late 19th century some turned away from Christianity to embrace pagan superstitions (. 11).

Fascinating! This was a superb biography of Bram Stoker. The biographer was very good at bringing a thousand little pieces together to show us how the iconic novel Dracula (published 1897) came to be. That Wilde, Twain, Shaw, Whitman, and did I mention Wilde, were in the mix just made it all the better. I knew Dracula was inspired by folklore and Stoker's weird boss but I didn't know (and I should have) that it was also inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was also a thousand other things that w Fascinating! This was a superb biography of Bram Stoker

Bibliographic Details Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, . Publication Date: 1996. But as Ms. Belford's intelligent, well-written and always interesting book makes clear, Stoker lived to serve. His revenge for lifelong self-effacement was Dracula.

Barbara Belford tells the story of Stoker the hidden man. On the surface: the very model of Victorian modesty, reserve, and duty, the devoted husband and father. In actuality: a man whose emotional and working energies were in large part expended on the care and cultivation of the flamboyant, mesmerizing genius of the stage, Henry Irving. We see Stoker the writer of novels and stories that were imbued with sexuality, violence, and the celebration of death - works at opposite poles from the decorum he presented in society

Especially well chosen are the 87 black-and-white illustrations of locations and personages in Bram Stoker’s life, many of which illuminate the text of DRACULA in new and surprising ways. Popular Study Guides.

Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula. New York: Random House, 1996. The Man Who Wrote Dracula: A Biography of Bram Stoker. New York: St. Martin's, 1976. Glut, Donald F. The Dracula Book. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1975. Dracula: The Novel and the Legend. Northamptonshire, England: Aquarian Press, 1985. Bram Stoker: Author of Dracula.

Belford, quite early in the book, sets up an idea of Stoker as a shadowy, almost unknowable figure in the background behind Henry Irving; but, surely, with the comparatively high profile Stoker had in London and on American tours, there must be more material in memoirs and letters of the period to get us closer to him? In fact, she gave me much more of an impression of the characters and personalities of some of the 'supporting cast', especially Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. The first full-scale biography of the complex man known today as the author of Dracula, but who was famous in his own time as the innovative manager of London's Lyceum Theatre, home of the greatest English actors of the day, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. Barbara Belford tells the story of Stoker the hidden man.

Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula by Barbara Belford. The Great Pulp Heroes by Don Hutchison. The Illustrated Werewolf Movie Guide by Stephen Jones. V is for Vampire by David Skal. 1997: Dark Thoughts: On Writing by Stanley Wiater. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy by John Clute & John Grant. More Giants of the Genre by Michael McCarty. Morbid Curiosity magazine by Loren Rhoads. The Bradbury Chronicles by Sam Weller.

If Barbara Belford’s previous work is any indication, Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula could have been a richly definitive literary biography. But the Columbia journalism professor bases this book on the wildly overstated case that Dracula is a coded Victorian diary of Stoker’s secret thoughts. She applies her brand of decoding and, lo and behold, finds Dracula (and thus Stoker) teeming with seduction, rape, gang rape, group sex, necrophilia, pedophilia, incest, adultery, oral sex, venereal disease, and voyeurism. Belford gives lively form to the world she thinks Stoker lived in - but she ignores what he said about himself when it doesn’t fit her theory. C+. Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Letter to Corson, H. 22 Mar. 1876. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. 1. Ed. Algeo, John. Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 2003. Crucifix, Communion and Convent: the Real Presence of Anglican Ritualism in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Christianity and Literature 6. (2013): 243–58. Redford, R. he Christian's Plea Against Modern Unbelief: A Hand-Book of Christian Evidence. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1881. Romanism in Board Schools: A Warning.

Reviews: 3
นℕĨĈტℝ₦
A very interesting book, that focuses in on Stoker's life with Henry Irving and at the Lyceum Theatre, which he managed.
Cordaron
Barbara Belford's "Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula" is considered to be the most scholarly and thorough of the 3 Bram Stoker biographies that have been published. But Mr. Stoker was a reticent person about whose personal life, opinions, and character there is precious little known. Whether out of humility or caution, he usually took care not to reveal himself. So what we know of Stoker comes primarily from his public life, which was thankfully shared with several grander, more loquacious personalities. Perhaps due to the scarcity of information about her subject, Barbara Belford gives Stoker's friends, colleagues, and the London theater community a lot of attention, especially Henry Irving, the great actor whose fame was dwarfed only by his ego, and whom Bram Stoker dedicated 27 years of his life to serving. Indeed, this biography of Stoker would serve well as a history of Irving's famous Lyceum Theatre for the decades that Stoker served as its acting manager.

The book starts by describing Stoker's childhood in Dublin, the third child born to a middle class Anglo-Irish family in 1847 during the potato famine, and his apparent debilitation until the age of 7. He grew up to be a civil servant like his father, and pursued personal interests as an unpaid drama critic for the "Evening Mail", through which Stoker met Henry Irving. After marrying the lovely Florence Balcombe, whom Oscar Wilde also courted, the Stokers moved to London where Bram's efficient management would help make the 1500-seat Lyceum Theatre fashionable and profitable. Since the Lyceum dominated Stoker's life, it dominates his biography, but Belford also discusses his trips to America on tour with the Lyceum company, his effusive admiration for Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln, and his novels and stories.

The upshot of "Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Man Who Wrote Dracula" is that Bram Stoker was a modest, hardworking man, exceedingly courteous even by Victorian standards, whose tireless work for Henry Irving was acknowledged by many but unappreciated and unrewarded by Irving himself. Stoker's genial but reserved manner harbored passionate, worshipful emotions toward his heroes, invariably men of power with larger-than-life personalities. Belford draws an occasional parallel between persons in Bram Stoker's own life and characters in "Dracula". Most notably, she sees a "sinister caricature" of Henry Irving in the vampire Count. Actress Ellen Terry seems to be reflected in Mina, and Stoker's wife Florence may have lent some of her character to Lucy. None of this is a stretch as long as one recognizes that "Dracula"'s characters don't have a single source, but many.

This biography includes a lot of good information for fans of Bram Stoker's work, but a couple of stylistic problems nagged at me. One is Belford's confusing tendency to refer to people by first or last name only, at the beginning of a chapter, instead of starting off with a full name. Another is the repeated use of the phrase "Unholy Trinity" to describe the business partnership between Henry Irving, Bram Stoker, and stage manager H.J. Loveday, which I found melodramatic. But Belford's book succeeds in creating a picture of Bram Stoker's personality without reading too much into his actions or words.
Kadar
Barbara Belford is a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and wrote a biography of Violet Hunt. `Count Dracula' is the most filmed character in history after `Sherlock Holmes', but most people never read the novel. Stoker's `Dracula' is the best known of his novels. It has been translated into virtually all European languages except Rumanian. The `Prologue' begins by referencing passages from `Dracula'. [I never read this novel or knew what was there.] This book seems to require a background in literature that a casual reader may not have. Belford mentions Stoker's childhood illness and compares it to Stoker's future novel. Cholera and other plagues were recurrent events in the 19th century. Since little was known about Stoker's early life Belford has to fill in the blanks. His siblings weren't affected like Bram. Does the deaths of over a million from starvation (p.17) far exceed the victims of Dracula? There was no such mortality in Europe. The Stoker family is of Dutch origin (p.30). Many were civil service bureaucrats. Cholera patients were sometimes buried alive (p.22). The narrative keeps being interrupted by literary references; I don't like this style (p.24). This book is valuable as a look into 19th century life, the theatrical business, and the career of Bram Stoker. Another problem is the photographs: they are spread throughout the book, the "Illustration Credits" do not list the pages. Belford's story of the stage play did not mention that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on the stage but was not reportedly the first choice for the film (p.33).

Abraham Stoker was born in 1847 Ireland. His father was a civil servant to the British Government, his mother was later an advocate of schooling for the handicapped. Bram went to Trinity College in Dublin, was a great athlete, and became interested in dramatics. He was a fan of Walt Whitman's poetry (p.43). After graduating he met Henry Irving the famous actor and became his business manager and friend. Irish legends tell of the Dearg-due (p.64). Stoker wrote short stories (p.66). Stoker married Florence Balcombe in 1878. He picked a new play that became a success (p.117). Stoker was a friend and advisor to Prime Minister Gladstone (p.131). Stoker risked his life to save a stranger from drowning and received a medal (p.137). Irving (and Stoker) toured America in the 1880s and later. Belford says the characters in `Dracula' were based on people known to Stoker (p.184). Stoker became a barrister in 1890 but never practiced law or tried a case (p.193). In the late 19th century some turned away from Christianity to embrace pagan superstitions (p.211). Why did Stoker pick the historic Dracula for his novel (p.260)? Stoker spent 6 years on writing this novel. Page 279 says "horse-drawn hansom" but the hansom cab was a two-wheeler. "The Thirty-Nine Steps" was a John Buchan novel (p.294). Stoker wanted to ban lewd fiction (p.312). Stoker died in 1912 of "locomotor ataxy, granular contracted kidney, exhaustion" (p.319). Some suggested a disease.

Why was Dracula so popular in the past? It shows a threat to humanity that can be overcome when people learn what must be done. Did Dracula represent a foreign ruler (Kaiser Bill or Hitler), or the economic panics or depressions? Was it a morality play where the good guys win at the end? The 1931 film seems to be a simplified and condensed version of the novel, like the bowdlerized Fairy Tales of the 20th century. It proved very popular. There were many vampire stories in the 19th century, now mostly forgotten.