Trinity College, Dublin, and its link with Bram Stoker
Trinity College is one of the oldest and most respected universities worldwide, and it can boast a special connection with Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. Bram matriculated here on 2 November 1864, only sixteen years old. He received the degree of Bachelor in Arts at the Spring Commencements on 1 March 1870, and was admitted to the degree of Master in Arts, as was customary at Trinity College, without further study on 9 February 1875.1
Even more significant for the Trinity-Stoker link is that Bram managed to become both the President of the University Philosophical Society and Auditor of the College Historical Society. Both are debating and paper-reading organisations for Trinity students, the first founded in 1683, while the second was founded in 1770. "The Phil" thus is the world's oldest student debating organisation. Both have many thousands of members and play a significant role in university life. It was before the Phil members that Bram read his first presentation on Gothic Literature: "Sensationalism in Fiction and Society" on 7 May 1868.
Moreover, Bram participated in many university-organised sports activities such as running and boxing and also was a member of the Trinity Rugby Team; one year, he was even elected as "University Athlete."
Trinity College and its student societies have honoured their
historical link with Bram Stoker. In 2011 the Bram Stoker Club
was founded as one of the Phil's sub-organisations. The club holds weekly afternoon paper-readings on a range of
topics - a tradition that had fallen slightly out of fashion. In January 2013, the Club was incorporated into the official laws of the University Philosophical Society by majority vote. This was then officially recognised by the Dublin University Central Societies Committee in March of the same year.
Also in March 2013, the Bram Stoker Club organised a Bram Stoker Memorial event,
attended by Stoker's great-grandsons Noel Dobbs and Robin MacCaw,
great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker and further Stoker family members such as Douglas
Appleyard and Senator David Norris. See
the photo gallery.
We are happy that this tradition is continued now by
Trinity College's involvement in the Fourth Dracula World Congress 2016.
1. From the Introduction to Bram Stoker, Compiled by William Hughes, Victorian Fiction Research Guides Nr. 25, 1996.