I started reading Dracula at the weekend, for the third time, no less.
First published in 1897, Stoker dedicated the book ‘To My Dear Friend Hommy-Beg’. Hommy-Beg is a Manx phrase meaning ‘little Tommy’, and it was the childhood nickname of the author Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine.
Hall Caine was a close friend of Stoker, who used his connections to help him break into the world of publishing and had a hand in editing many of his books.
Dracula was well received by some critics, but had moderate sales and never made any money for the author. His later books were even less successful, and Bram Stoker died in poverty.
Contrarily, Hall Caine was one of the most popular writers of the age, feted by royalty and with honours heaped on his head. His novel The Christian, published in the same year as Stoker’s Dracula, became the first book in Britain to sell a million copies.
But now, over a hundred years later…
James Patterson, watch your back