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Bram Stoker
[Bram Stoker]
November 8, 1847 - April 20, 1912
Abraham Stoker was born near Dublin, Ireland, graduating from Trinity College with honours in mathematics. In 1872, Stoker published his first melodrama, The Crystal Cup, a dream fantasy. While working as a clerk in Dublin Castle he wrote Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, although it was not published until 1879.
In December 1878, Henry Irving, who had taken control of London’s Lyceum Theatre, approached Stoker to become his business manager. Stoker resigned his civil service position and married Florence Balcombe before moving to London. In the 1880s and 1890s, the Lyceum and the Stokers, Irving and his co-star, Ellen Terry, were at the centre of London’s social and cultural life.
Several tours of America lead to his writing A Glimpse of America. Stoker published a collection of allegorical fairy tales, Under the Sunset, before studying for the bar and being invited to the Inner Temple in 1890, the same year his first romantic novel, The Snake’s Pass, was published. Stoker is best remembered for Dracula, The Undead. Published in 1897 to mixed reviews, it is now considered a classic of gothic literature.
Stoker is reputed to have been a member of the Golden Dawn and the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and to have been initiated into a masonic lodge in Dublin. The Grand Lodge of Ireland has no record of his membership and the SRIA—whose "Golden Book", their record of initiations, only goes back to 1912—has no record of him either.
While much comment is made of masonic themes in Dracula, specific quotes are hard to find. In chapter 2 the Count says to Jonathan Harker, "Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!" A familiar expression to freemasons, it is by no means exclusively masonic. In The Lair of the White Worm there is a more masonic turn of phrase: "We two are, I take it, tiled. So that there come no wrong or harm to anyone else in the enlargement of the bounds of our confidence!"

Grand Lodge of Ireland records, Dublin; SRIA Golden Book, London. Note: his brother, Sir William Stoker, was a freemason under the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Portrait: Reminiscences of Henry Irving, Bram Stoker. London : Heinemann, 1906.


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