The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker

Written by John Edgar Browning
Review by Hannah Lavery

Browning’s text collects in print for the first time rare and unknown writings by or about Bram Stoker, produced between 1886-1913. Parts 1-3 collect poetry, fiction and journalistic prose, and parts 4-6 include previously unknown interviews with the author, rare and uncollected non-fiction, and period writings about Stoker. The final part reproduces the catalogue of the Library of Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker’s early published review Hamlet in 1876 sparked his friendship with the actor Henry Irving. This became one of the most important business and personal relationships in the writer’s life, and Browning’s collection reflects this, with eight of the 16 non-fiction pieces concerning Irving and the theatre. Readers familiar with Stoker’s first published poem – ‘One Thing Needful’ (1885) – will be interested in the political nature of the two later verses collected here, while the short story section offers previously unknown, engaging examples of Gothic and love stories. This collection also permits academic study of the intertextual development of the broader Stoker oeuvre, especially elements later synthesised in his Dracula tale. As such, the collection has a broad appeal, and serves an important function in the on-going compilation of the Stoker bibliography.