Exploring the Legacy and History
Bram Stoker in Dublin
There I stood, pressed against the glass floor to ceiling window at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. I was totally zoning out, trying to drown the crowd behind me with the “dark stuff” and a remarkable view of Dublin. I peered off into the night sky, blanketed by brown clouds that seemed just low enough to soften the city. My eyes scanned the shadows tracing down streets, around corners and puddles that bounced sparkling reflections of light. I was determined to see something -unusual. Something like a vampire. Something like Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The legendary Victorian vamp has transcended decades and made his way into pop culture media -adored by the masses. Now more than ever, vampire enthusiasts are tuning in and turning pages to popular bloodletting, romanticized-Goth, action-packed vampire novels. I’d be willing to bet that most adults know who Dracula is, and every neck-biting fan knows who Bram Stoker is. That said, did you know he was a Dubliner? True story!
Bram Stoker was born in the seaside Dublin suburb of Clontarf in 1847 although he spent most of his life in Dublin city. It was there that he left a massive bite in the Victorian-era -which surprisingly has been pretty well-preserved today. They don’t call Dublin the “City of Literature” for nothing. Dublin takes its famous works very seriously. Now, most of you know this place as one of my favorite cities in the world. I couldn’t think of a better destination to claim homage to the father of the Gothic-vampire subculture. So, after a few trips to Ireland, I have come up with a sweet Bram Stoker trail for you to enjoy. You can catch a cab (but that would be outrageously pricey), rent a car (but driving in Dublin is straight bananas), or my personal favorite, get chauffeured in style with Blacklane Limousine’s Service in Dublin.
The Historic Trail
The Bram Stoker Family Home – 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf Dublin 3 – This was the family home of the Stokers. This is a cool link to it. It actually went up for sale last year. His Dublin City Home – 30 Kildare Street, Dublin
Where He Went to School – Trinity College where he studied and received his B.A. in Mathematics and was an athlete.
Where he Worked – Dublin Castle, where Bram Stoker worked as a civil servant.
Where He was Baptized – Church of Ireland, in his home suburb of Clontarf, Dublin 3 Where He was Married to Oscar Wilde’s Girlfriend – St. Anne’s Church on Dawson Street, Dublin
Where He Started a Long and Famous Friendship – The Shelbourne Hotel, where he and Henry Irving started their friendship over dinner.
Where He Found Inspiration for His Novel – Beneath St. Michan’s Church in the crypts, home to the mummified remains of soldiers and wealthy families. You can visit the crypts today. The Fairytale Traveler did!
The Legacy Trail
Bram’s Cafe – Bram took a bite out of Clontarf and you can take a bite at Bram’s Cafe! St. Stephen’s Green – A cool statue of Oscar Wilde, from whom he stole his future wife.
Irish Writer’s Centre – A painting of Bram Stoker can be found here. Bram Stoker Hotel / Stoker Dracula Organisation – Home to the Stoker Dracula Organisation, this lovely property houses the Stoker Dracula Centre. The Centre features artifacts, a visual screen presentation, and scheduled “Classic Nights” in the 21 seated Victorian-styled cinema. I have never been to this place but it looks lovely online. The Stoker Dracula Organisation runs out of the hotel. Dublin’s Writer’s Museum – Features Bram Stoker, among other famous Irish literary legends.
Neck Biting Events for True Vampire Fans
Bram Stoker International Summer School – June 7th-9th, 2014 Vampire Cloak Race – October 31st, 2014 Bram Stoker Festival – Fairytale Traveler and Ireland correspondent, Ed Mooney explored this awesome event in 2013. It was absolutely amazing. This 3-day event calebrates the Gothic culture and literary legend on a whole other level. This year’s festival runs October 24th-27th 2014. Click here for a sample of last year’s brochure! This is killer!
Love Bram Stoker as much as I do? Check out the Dracula Church St. Mary’s in Whitby, England
Trinity College Long Library, first-hand account
Wikipedia, Bram Stoker
The Bram Stoker Festival 2013, The Fairytale Traveler as reported by Ed Mooney