I have a new academic paper entitled ‘Bram Stoker, Freemasonry and the Byronic Hero’, published in the renowned Romanian Masonic journal Gnosis, Anul VII / nr. 7, (2021), pp.13-32, which can be accessed and downloaded for free at my academia profile here:
Bram Stoker, famous for his Gothic novel Dracula, was also a Freemason, and this paper will argue how the themes of secrecy and mystery, key elements of the Byronic Hero, a characterisation of which Dracula has been associated with, may not only have been inspired from Stoker’s brush with Freemasonry, but also from the fellow Freemasons that were part of his life, such as Sir Henry Irving, Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Byronic Hero was a characterisation that can be found in nineteenth century literature with characters such as Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and the character of Eugene Onegin by Russian Freemason and writer Alexander Pushkin. These characters have elements of mystery and secrecy, and indeed, as we shall see, there is evidence of some Masonic influences with these works. Byron, whose own life, along with the fictional characters within his poetry, significantly inspired the Byronic Hero characterisation, was also a member of the Carbonari and there is evidence that he was aware of Freemasonry, his Great Uncle being Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England. Indeed, the Romantic essence of these literary Byronic Heroes will be explored, along with the darker traits that characters such as Dracula portrayed.
The paper was inspired in part by a conversation with a fellow Freemason Lord David Owens, who kindly passed the information on Stoker he had obtained from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and I would like to thank Brother Alexandru Rufanda for his translation of the paper.