This week marks the birthday of Bram Stoker, born in Dublin, Ireland (1847). He was working as a clerk for the civil service when he saw an unknown actor named Henry Irving in a play that changed his life. He became obsessed with Irving's acting career, and eventually, Stoker became the devoted servant of Henry Irving, writing his speeches, ordering his lunches, and planning his every appointment.
Then one night, in 1890, he dreamt that a woman was trying to kiss him on the throat, and an elderly count interrupted her shouting, "This man belongs to me!" Stoker woke up and immediately wrote about the dream in his diary. He couldn't get it out of his mind for weeks, and kept wondering who the count might be. He eventually wrote a novel, inspired by the dream, called Dracula. It came out in 1897 and got mixed reviews. It only became a minor best-seller in Stoker's lifetime. When he died in 1912, the obituaries about Stoker focused on his career in theater, and not a single one mentioned his authorship of Dracula. It wasn't until 1922, when Dracula movies started to appear that Bram Stoker's novel became widely known.