In 1897, Bram Stoker popularized the vampire with his gothic horror novel Dracula, inspiring countless interpretations of the undead figure that feasts on the blood of victims. The Irish author’s other works have largely been overlooked, but we’re celebrating the writer’s birthday with a collection of other Stoker tales that deserve your attention. Within these stories, Stoker’s interest in science, drama, and fantasy spring to life and ignite the imagination.
The Lady of the Shroud
Stoker adopted his epistolary approach to Dracula in the 1909 novel The Lady of the Shroud, which is told through letters and diary excerpts. There’s also a vampiric and romantic element, though Lady has a much happier ending than its tragic predecessor. Written during the onset of the Balkan Wars, Stoker tells the tale of young Rupert Saint Leger, who receives a large inheritance after the passing of his uncle — but only if he promises to live in his uncle’s castle for a year. To integrate himself with his neighbors on the Dalmatian coast, he supplies them with weapons so they might defeat the Turkish invaders. During his nights, Rupert is visited by a mysterious woman, the “lady of the shroud,” who may or may not be undead.