Abraham "Bram" Stoker (8 November 1847 - 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.
Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through his friend Dr. Maunsell. He became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Sheridan Le Fanu. Theatre critics were held in low esteem, but he attracted notice by the quality of his reviews. In December 1876, he gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin.
Stoker visited the English town of Whitby in 1890, and that visit is said to be part of the inspiration of his great novel Dracula. He began writing novels while manager for Henry Irving and secretary and director of London's Lyceum Theatre, beginning with The Snake's Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897.