A 2017 Edgar Award Finalist
A revelatory biography exhumes the haunted origins of the man behind the immortal myth, bringing us "the closest we can get to understanding [Bram Stoker] and his iconic tale" (The New Yorker).
In this groundbreaking portrait of the man who birthed an undying cultural icon, David J. Skal "pulls back the curtain to reveal the author who dreamed up this vampire" (TIME magazine). Examining the myriad anxieties plaguing the Victorian fin de siecle, Skal stages Bram Stoker's infirm childhood against a grisly tableau of medical mysteries and horrors: cholera and famine fever, childhood opium abuse, frantic bloodletting, mesmeric quack cures, and the gnawing obsession with "bad blood" that pervades Dracula. In later years, Stoker's ambiguous sexuality is explored through his passionate youthful correspondence with Walt Whitman, his adoration of the actor Sir Henry Irving, and his romantic rivalry with lifelong acquaintance Oscar Wilde—here portrayed as a stranger-than-fiction doppelgänger. Recalling the psychosexual contours of Stoker's life and art in splendidly gothic detail, Something in the Blood is the definitive biography for years to come.