Years before writing his most famous novel, Bram Stoker is working as the business manager of the famed Lyceum Theater Company of London.  Wishing to make a hefty donation to the company: a mysterious, dapper Slavic gentleman visits the theater with plans to mix business AND pleasure.

Letter (By Hand), Actress Lillian Adams to Her Mother
Dublin, 12 August


earest Mother,
I pray this finds you well and that your terrible gout is not too discomforting this week. I shall be home soon, and I am well tired of this summer run. Coming directly off the season as it did, my fatigue is beyond measure. I am sure most people would think it quite glamorous, being an actress with London’s famous Lyceum Company, la-tee-da, but it has been mostly tedious for me here. Mrs. McBride at the rooming house, though, has been so very kind to me, as I have said before. She takes the time to ask what food would be to my liking. I know how you tease at my fussiness, but I cannot help it.

The house at the Theatre Royal here in Dublin has continued full, and the people are very appreciative. Hamlet is so damn long. Sorry, but ‘tis a burden I cannot describe waiting for my few scenes. Mr. Henry-Bloody-Irving drones on and on with his speeches and I would rather sit backstage watching paint dry. I know you and all of London adore him; he is our illustrious leader and I should be grateful for the exposure. Miss Ellen Terry generally keeps a good spirit with us girls, but the same cannot be said for Mr. Irving. Oh, my dear, he frightens me so. You recall that time he railed at me when I was behind in my entrance. Remember, Lord how I cried. Thank God I still got me looks, as they say at home. He mostly leaves me alone. Continue reading