In his lifetime, Bram Stoker (1847-1912) lived in the shadow of the man he served, the Victorian actor, Sir Henry Irving. In death, he was overshadowed by his most famous creation, the undead Count who continues to permeate our consciousness. Yet Stoker was a larger-than-life individual, one of the more remarkable characters of the Victorian era, an age he both personified and transcended. At Trinity College Dublin, Stoker was a contemporary of key Irish literary and political figures and later launched himself on a career as a writer, while juggling the demands of a civil service job with journalism. He married the great love of Oscar Wilde's youth, Florence Balcombe, and devoted the best years of his adult life to Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre in London.
This ground-breaking, meticulously researched biography illuminates a multi-faceted man of extraordinary creativity. Now, for the first time, Dracula is presented in the context of Stoker's life and entire fictional output. Rooted in his upbringing and active engagement with Victorian concerns, his dark masterpiece emerges as an imaginative tour de force which both mirrored and judged his era.
Award winning (Koizumi Yakumo Literary Prize, Japan, 1995), definitive biography of (Patrick) Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), the writer of Greek-Irish parentage who thrilled and scandalised America both with his life and writings in the 1870s and 1880s, before spending two years in the French West Indies (1888-90) and, finally, reaching Japan in 1890 where he would spend the rest of his life. In Japan he would personal happiness in marriage, become its greatest-ever interpreter to the West and translate its horror (Kwaidan) tradition in immortal fashion.