After the first joint trip to Romania in November 2013, Dacre and Hans traveled to Dublin to see the neighbourhoods where Bram grew up, went to school and university, and visited places which inspired him while writing his fiction.
Stoker's professional career started as a clerk at the Dublin Castle, but he succeeded in getting a foot in the theatre business by writing reviews for Dublin newspapers. In Dublin, also, he met his future wife, Florence Balcombe, and was friends with Oscar Wilde and his family, among others. Based on his intimate knowledge of his family's history, Dacre provides an unique description of all the relevant locations and demonstrates how his great-granduncle's writing was rooted in his private and professional life.
During this trip, we participated in a special Bram Stoker Memorial Event, organised by the Bram Stoker Club, an active students' group operating within the Philosophical Society. Founded in 1683, "the Phil" is the oldest debating society in the world, and - with 10,000 members - one of the largest. The purpose of the Bram Stoker Club is to revive the tradition of reading papers before an audience of students - a practice from Bram Stoker's days as a President of the Philosophical Society. Bram's first lecture before the Philosophical Society dealt with "the sensational" in Irish Gothic literature and addressed, among others, the vampire novel Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu.
The event was set up by BSC officers to commemorate the noteworthy role Bram played in the Philosophical Society. Moreover, he also acted as an auditor of the Historical Society - the other large debating club of Trinity College. The event was also attended by Bram's great-grandsons, Noel Dobbs and Robin McCaw; Stoker relatives Senator David Norris and Douglas Appleyard; Prof. Jarlath Killeen, Valeria Cavalli and Kristin Bone, specialists for Gothic Literature at Trinity College; Stoker biographer Paul Murray and Bram Stoker Society Journal editor Brian Showers, and by artists Damian Byrne and Beatrice Stewart, who created portraits paintings and busts of Bram respectively.
Besides socializing with the students and the other members of the Stoker family, we used this trip to visit and photograph all locations discussed in the Dublin section of our Travel Guide.
See the photo gallery of our March 2014 trip to Dublin and the Bram Stoker Memorial Event.