Bram Stoker was born in Clontarf, a coastal suburb on the nothside of Dublin. He was the third of seven children of Abraham Stoker (1799-1876) and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley (1819-1901). Stoker's eldest brother, William Thornley Stoker, became an eminent surgeon, anatomist and medical writer who was knighted and made a baronet for his services to medicine. Both of Stoker's parents were members of the Protestant Church of Ireland. The young Bram Stoker was baptized into the Protestant faith, attended church with his parents and went to a private school run by an Anglican clergyman, the Reverend William Woods.
Shortly before he started school at the age of seven, Stoker was confined to bed for a long time due to illness. The exact nature of his illness has not been recorded. Stoker was later to say of that period of his life, "I was naturally thoughtful and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years." After his recovery, Stoker was not seriously troubled again by ill health for the remainder of his life.
Stoker attended Trinity College in Dublin between 1864 and 1870, studying science, mathematics, history and oratory. He became well known within the university as an athlete and a skilled debater.
After graduation, Stoker found a job in the Irish civil service. He continued to attend meetings at Trinity College's debating society and went to the theater as often as he could. For a time he served as drama critic for the Dublin Evening Mail newspaper.
The famous actor Sir Henry Irving was greatly impressed by the review that Stoker wrote for his Dublin performance of Hamlet. The two men became close friends, Irving would always visit Stoker when he came to Dublin. In 1878 Irving persuaded Stoker to leave the Irish civil service and move to London to become his manager. Stoker married Florence Balcombe, a former fiancée of Oscar Wilde, the same year. Their son Noel was born in 1879.
Stoker spent the rest of his life in London. He worked at the Lyceum Theatre as Sir Henry Irving's manager and secretary for twenty years. During that time he also qualified as a lawyer, although he never practiced law, and wrote Dracula and other novels and short stories. Following Irving's death in 1905, Stoker wrote a biography of the actor.
- The Primrose Path (1875)
- The Snake's Pass (1890)
- The Watter's Mou (1895)
- The Shoulder of Shesta (1895)
- Dracula (1897)
- Miss Betty (1899)
- The Mystery of the Sea (1902)
- The Jewel of the Seven Stars (1903)
- The Man (alternate title: The Gates of Life) (1905)
- Lady Athlyne (1908)
- The Lady of the Shroud (1909)
- The Lair of the White Worm (alternate title: The Garden of Evil) (1911)
Short story collections
- Under the Sunset (1881) A collection of fantasy stories for children. The book contains the following short stories:
- "Under the Sunset"
- "The Rose Prince"
- "The Invisible Giant"
- "The Shadow Builder"
- "How 7 Went Mad"
- "Lies and Lillies"
- "The Castle of the King"
- "The Wondrous Child"
- Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party (1908) The book contains the following short stories:
- "The Occasion"
- "A Lesson in Pets"
- "Coggin's Property"
- "The Slim Syrens"
- "A New Departure in Art"
- "Mick the Devil"
- "In Fear of Death"
- "At Last"
- "Chin Music"
- "A Deputy Waiter"
- "A Corner in Dwarfs"
- "A Criminal Star"
- "A Star Trap"
- "A Moon-Light Effect"
- Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories (1914) A collection of stories selected by Stoker's widow following his death. The book contains the following short stories:
- The Duties of Clerks of Petty Seasons in Ireland (1879)
- A Glimpse of America (1886)
- Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving (1906)
- Famous Impostors (1910)