Justin Beplate

Coming out of the Coffin

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula

By

Liveright 652pp £25 order from our bookshop

It must be difficult for biographers of Bram Stoker to reconcile the fantastic excesses of his fictional writing with the prosaic and meagre biographical material found in his surviving letters and journal entries. Stoker the public man was a prolific correspondent and cataloguer of the minutiae of everyday life, yet there is precious little evidence of him ever confiding his innermost thoughts to paper. As David J Skal admits in his introduction to Something in the Blood, his subject left almost nothing in the way of candid or personal writings and ‘no real accounting of his life’. Even the publication of Stoker’s Lost Journal in 2012, released to coincide with the centenary of his death, did little to reveal the secret springs of his creative life, conveying instead a disappointingly impersonal grab bag of callow sketches and poetic musings.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,