Bram Stoker rare books and memorabilia
Bram Stoker rare books and memorabilia are collectible items relating to Irish novelist Abraham Stoker (1847-1912).
Bram Stoker was known in his own time for his involvement with the theatre, as the business manager of the Lyceum theatre, London, and his association with actor Henry Irving. He is now best known for the Gothic novel Dracula (1897).
He began writing while managing the theatre, and a member of the London Daily Telegraph literary staff, publishing the Snakes Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. He went on to write further horror fiction, including The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911).
His style is horror fiction, romanticised Gothic, and melodrama. Some of his novels are even considered early science fiction.
Stoker was a liberal supporter, with a keen interest in Irish affairs. He was very keen on the idea of medicine and science as progressive, as well as harbouring a fascination with the occult.
Types of rare books and memorabilia
- Dracula, first American edition (1899, Doubleday and Maclure, New York) inscribed by Stoker. Sold for £5,736 in November 2003.
- Dracula, first edition (1897, Archibald Constable and Company, Westminster) inscribed by Stoker, sold for £9,375 in November 2010, $17,500 in November 2011 and $47,800 in October 2002.
- Dracula first edition (1897) sold for $10,158 in April 2002.
- Dracula first edition (1897), sold for $21,600 in December 2004 and $28,800 in April 2004.
- The Mystery of the Sea, third impression (1902) sold for £19,800 in December 2001.
- Dracula first edition later impression, in art slipcase by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, inscribed by Stoker sold for £15,000 in December 2008.
- The Lair of the White Worm first edition (1911), sold for $5,700 in November 2004.
Documents, Autographs etc
- Handwritten manuscript of The Lady of the Shroud, with notes and revisions. Sold for $29,900 in December 1997.
Guide for collectors
While Dracula is by far the most popular and valuable Stoker item for collectors, his other works are more scarce, and therefore first editions of other novels can be very valuable in their own right.
The first edition of Dracula (1897, Archibald Constable and Company, Westminster), went through more than one printing. Therefore it may be worth checking if a copy is the first or a later impression, as this can make a significant difference to the price. This can generally be ascertained by the presence or lack of a Shoulder of Shasta advertisement leaf, added to later issues.
First editions are worth infinitely more in their original bindings. Therefore it is not recommended to restore or rebind copies.
Copies are also more valuable when a signature or inscription by Stoker is present.