Bram Stoker’s Childhood Home

Although [amazon_link id=”1596299401″ target=”_blank” ]Detroit[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”0982597304″ target=”_blank” ]New Orleans [/amazon_link]are known for their musicians and poets, [amazon_link id=”B004L642NK” target=”_blank” ]Dublin Ireland [/amazon_link]is as well. Many writers thought to be British are actually Irish. The home of Dublin-born [amazon_link id=”0393064506″ target=”_blank” ]Bram Stoker[/amazon_link], famous for authoring [amazon_link id=”1936594331″ target=”_blank” ]Dracula[/amazon_link], is linked to a famous feud between the Irish [amazon_link id=”1117773531″ target=”_blank” ]Earl of Charlemont [/amazon_link]and a home builder. Their feud is said to be “the” most expensive argument in all of Ireland.

This story was told to me by a Dublin gentleman who holds a Master of Arts degree in Irish Literature from Trinity College. He was deeply versed in Irish history as well and knew many fascinating stories from events that took place in Ireland during the past 300 years.

Irish-born James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728 – 1799) was an Irish statesman. Spending nine years on a Grand Tour of Europe, Lord Charlemont was well-known for his love of Classical art and culture. After returning to Ireland in 1755, he employed the famous architect [amazon_link id=”0300069413″ target=”_blank” ]Sir William Chambers [/amazon_link]to remodel his main residence, Marino House, which was named after the town of Marino in the Lazio region of Italy. Chambers also designed a summerhouse for the estate, which resulted in a unique [amazon_link id=”0719554551″ target=”_blank” ]Neo-Classical [/amazon_link]garden pavilion building, known as “The Casino at Marino” (casino means “little house” in Italian.)

About five miles north of Dublin, not far from the Casino, at the junction of three busy roads (the Malahide, Clontarf and Howth Roads) you cannot fail to notice a beautiful crescent-shaped row of Georgian-style houses that surround an enclosed park, which are commonly known as, [amazon_link id=”1901091457″ target=”_blank” ]The Crescent[/amazon_link]. Although the park is reminiscent of one of those little squares in Paris where only the residents have keys to get in and most likely was originally used only by the residents of The Crescent, today it is a public park named “Bram Stoker Park” and has an informational plaque about Stoker and his boyhood home of number 15 Marino Crescent. It is interesting to note that Stoker married Florence Balcombe, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of number 1 Marino Crescent, a celebrated beauty whose former suitors included the author [amazon_link id=”0199540764″ target=”_blank” ]Oscar Wilde[/amazon_link].

Administratively, both Marino and the nearby town of Fairview were part of the old townland parish of Clonturk where The Crescent sits today. Fairview Park is a very large park that is located just south of The Crescent. Most people probably do not know that Fairview Park was built from reclaimed land; two hundred fifty years ago, the North Strand of [amazon_link id=”1903464390″ target=”_blank” ]Dublin Bay [/amazon_link]would have come up as far as what is now the Marino Mart road through Fairview.

After ten years of restoration, the Casino was open to the public in 1984. [amazon_link id=”1566567696″ target=”_blank” ]Heritage Ireland[/amazon_link] now owns what is left of the estate, essentially the Casino, which is now surrounded by a residential neighborhood consisting of what was formerly was the lavish grounds of Marino House (demolished in 1921) and the 30 acres of grounds that surrounded just the Casino alone.

It is said that Lord Charlemont had some type of dispute with a man from Dublin’s Aungier Street (near St. Stephen’s Green) whose surname was Ffolliott and thought by some to be his estate manager. The particulars of this dispute have been lost over the years; however, it must have been quite serious. In 1792, Ffolliott acquired all the land immediately in front of the Marino House estate, and then built The Crescent, designed in such a way that the [amazon_link id=”0727726277″ target=”_blank” ]building[/amazon_link] completely blocked Earl Charlemont’s view of Dublin Bay. “As the crow flies,” the Casino at Marino is approximately 358 meters or 2/10 of a mile from the middle of The Crescent row; when taking into account the distance, angles, and elevation, it seems likely that the story about Ffolliott has merit or it is one remarkable coincidence.

Interested in visiting? The Crescent and [amazon_link id=”1845885236″ target=”_blank” ]Bram Stoker Park [/amazon_link]is across the road from Clontarf Road Dart Station; the area can also be reached by way of several Dublin Bus routes from the city centre, including 20B, 27/BCNX, 29A/N, 31/B, 32/ABX, 42/ABN, 43, 103, 104, 123, 127, 128, 129 and 130. Please do remember that The Crescent continues to operate as private homes whose residents deserve our respect and consideration. ______________________________________________________________

Attention Students: to cite this web article in the current MLA-style, please use the example below.

Dixon, Catherine Jo. “Bram Stoker’s Childhood Home.” Feast Of Languages. Catherine Jo Dixon, 10 June 2011. Web. [today’s date].

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English literature students most commonly use the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) style to write their papers. This citation reflects the [amazon_link id=”1603290249″ target=”_blank” ]MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition[/amazon_link] and/or the [amazon_link id=”0873522974″ target=”_blank” ]MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition[/amazon_link]. For additional information, I recommend a free online writing lab from Purdue University: “The Purdue OWL” which has current, credible information and reliable examples.

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