March 24, 2010 / 5:26 PM / 9 years ago

Dracula creator's relative seeks Dublin memorial

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Victorian Gothic novel Dracula is associated with the dense forests of Transylvania rather than the Georgian squares of Dublin, but the great great nephew of its Irish born author thinks that is an oversight.

Romanian actor Petrica Moraru performs as the bloodthirsty Dracula at the Club Count Dracula restaurant in Bucharest March 2003. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

In time for the centenary of Bram Stoker’s death, which will be in 2012, Dacre Stoker has begun work to raise money to erect a memorial to his ancestor to join the statues and plaques commemorating Dublin’s many other writers, such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.

“It’s an oversight. There is no permanent memorial in his home city to this guy,” Dacre Stoker, who lives in South Carolina, United States, told Reuters by phone.

Bram Stoker was born in 1847 in Dublin, where he lived until he moved to London when he was 31.

He attended Trinity College before working as a civil servant in Dublin Castle and as an unpaid theater critic for Dublin newspapers.

Of his several works of fiction, by far the best known is Dracula, published in 1897, in print ever since and made into numerous films.

Dacre Stoker, whose great grandfather was Bram Stoker’s youngest brother, believes his ancestor must have drawn inspiration for his story of the undead, blood-sucking vampire from his early years in Dublin when his mother told him tales from Irish folklore.

There is also speculation he had his blood let as a child when suffering from a mystery illness.

Potent as the Dracula legend is, Dacre Stoker plans for the memorial to be a statue to the man Bram Stoker rather than his fictional character.

Dublin City Council has given initial agreement for a memorial and the next step is selection of an artist once enough seed capital has been raised.

A life-size statue would cost around 100,000 euros ($134,400) or more, a spokesman for the council said.

Reporting by Barbara Lewis, editing by Paul Casciato

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