The Lair of the White Worm
Bram Stoker, London 1911. Illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith
Most famous as the author of the iconic horror novel Dracula, Bram Stoker was born in Marino in Dublin. The Lair of the White Worm is, like Dracula, loosely based on folklore, in this case the English tale of the Lambton Worm. Sinister ladies who tear mongooses apart with their hands and baleful mesmerists also play a part in the story. Stoker did not set any of his sensational tales in Dublin, but his Gothic imagination must have been greatly influenced by his literary forebears, fellow-Dubliners Le Fanu and Maturin. Like most Gothic fiction, the theme of Dracula feeds from previous works, notably Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire novella Carmilla.