Michael Delgado

Lifting the Curtain

Shadowplay

By

Harvill Secker 320pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

On 20 April 1912, a 64-year-old writer and retired theatre manager named Abraham Stoker died quietly at his home in St George’s Square, London. The Times was one of the few major newspapers to carry an obituary. It’s a modest piece, buried on page fifteen, and you have to wade through accounts of Stoker’s sporting prowess, civil service duties and friendship with the actor Henry Irving before you get to the elephant in the room: his ‘lurid and creepy kind of fiction, represented by “Dracula” and other novels’. Even then, ‘his chief literary memorial’, the obituarist asserts with confidence, ‘will be his Reminiscences of Irving’.

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