London: Irish author Bram Stoker`s private journal, in which he sketched out his first thoughts about his legendary creation Dracula, has been unearthed after more than 100 years.
The thin, unmarked book was discovered on a shelf in his great-grandson`s home on the Isle of Wight. It had been passed down by his ancestors for more than a century before arriving in Noel Dobbs` home, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Dobbs was unaware of what the book was until a US researcher contacted him to ask if he knew about a journal his famous relative had written. He then dug out the tiny tome which was signed `Abraham Stoker`.
There were 305 entries dating from 1871 when Stoker was in his 20s. Some are pages long, with others just a few sentences. The journal also contains romantic poems.
He sent photocopies of a few pages to his cousin, Dacre Stoker, a Professor in South Carolina, who has now written a book about his famous ancestor based on the journal.
"When I saw it, I was amazed. I thought, `The Holy Grail! We`ve found it`. There is so little written by Bram about Bram. Family, scholars and fans wanted to know what made the man who wrote Dracula tick. And here we had a major set of clues," Dacre Stoker was quoted as saying.
His book, The Lost Journal, will be published next March to mark the centenary of the author`s death.