Once graduated, Stoker worked as a clerk at Dublin Castle, as well as a theatre critic, during which time his paths crossed with that of Gothic author Sheridan Le Fanu and acclaimed actor Henry Irving. Both are said to have inspired elements in Dracula, as is a trip Stoker made to St Michan’s Church in Dublin around this time. His work as a civil servant helped shape Dracula’s structure, which uses diary entries, memos and telegrams to lend an eerie realism.
In 1878, Stoker married Oscar Wilde’s ex-girlfriend, Florence Balcombe, in St Ann’s Church on Dawson Street where a bust of him now sits. The couple moved from their house on Kildare Street to London so Bram, at the request of Irving, could manage an eminent theatre in the city. It was here in 1897 the man behind the fangs used his knowledge of undead Irish tales to pen Dracula.