Count Dracula Legend?

Any info about Count Dracula please?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    1.

    Count Dracula Legend

    Some say that Transylvania sits on one of earth's strongest magnetic fields and its people have extra-sensory perceptions. Vampires are believed to hang around crossroads on St. George's Day, April 23rd, and the eve of St. Andrew, November 29th. The area is also home to Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it's easy to get caught up in the tale while driving along winding roads through dense, dark, ancient forests and mountain passes.

    Count Dracula, a fictional character in the Dracula novel, was inspired by one of the best-known figures of the Romanian history — Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) — who was a ruler of Wallachia (1456-1462).

    Many "Dracula Tours" are being offered throughout Romania. They include the most important historical places related with Vlad Tepes, such as 14th Century town of Sighisoara — Vlad's birthplace. The house in which Vlad Dracula was born has a small plaque on the door and now is a restaurant and small museum of medieval weapons. Other Dracula sights are: the Snagov Monastery — where, according to legend, Vlad is said to have been buried after his assassination; Castle Bran (Castle Dracula); the Poenari fortress; the village of Arefu — where many Dracula legends are still told; the city of Brasov — where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants; and, of course, Curtea Domneasca — Dracula's palace in Bucharest. Some tours also cover the folkloric aspects of the fictional Dracula. For instance, eating the meal Jonathan Harker ate at The Golden Crown in Bistrita, and sleeping at Castle Dracula Hotel — built no so long ago on the Borgo Pass, approximately where the fictional castle of the Count is supposed to be.

    An Intriguing Figure in The Fifteenth Century

    by Benjamin Hugo Leblanc - EPHE-Sorbonne (Paris) & Laval University (Quebec) Count Dracula is more than 100 years old and still alive! Of course, almost everybody has heard about this Nosferatu: through movies featuring Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Gary Oldman; in several books — among which the recent Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice; or even in bedtime stories told to us in our childhood. We all have an idea of who or what the Count is. However, on the other hand, Vlad Tepes (Dracula), the historical figure who inspired Bram Stoker for his novel, is definitely less known.

    Vlad Tepes was born in December 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. Vlad's father, governor of Transylvania, had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before. The order — which could be compared to the Knights of the Hospital of St. John or even to the Teutonic Order of Knights — was a semi-military and religious society, originally created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli. The main goal of such a secret fraternal order of knights was mainly to protect the interests of Christianity and to crusade against the Turks. The boyars of Romania associated the dragon with the Devil and decided to call Vlad's father "Dracul" — which in Romanian language, means "Devil"; "Dracula" is a diminutive, which means "the son of the Devil."

    In the winter of 1436-1437, Dracul became prince of Wallachia (one of the three Romanian provinces) and took up residence at the palace of Tirgoviste, the princely capital. Vlad followed his father and lived six years at the princely court. In 1442, in order to keep the Turks at bay, Dracul sent his son Vlad and his younger brother Radu, to Istanbul, as hostages of the Sultan Murad II. Vlad was held in there until 1448. This Turkish captivity surely played an important role in Dracula's upbringing; it must be at this period that he adopted a very pessimistic view of life and learned the Turkish method of impalement on stakes. The Turks set Vlad free after informing him of his father's assassination in 1447. He also learned about his older brother's death and how he had been tortured and buried alive by the boyars of Tirgoviste.

    When he was 17 years old, Vlad Tepes (Dracula), supported by a force of Turkish cavalry and a contingent of troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, made his first major move toward seizing the Wallachian throne. Vlad became the ruler of Wallachia in July of 1456. During his six-year reign he committed many cruelties, and hence established his controversial reputation.

    His first major act of revenge was aimed at the boyars of Tirgoviste for for not being loyal to his father. On Easter Sunday of what we believe to be 1459, he arrested all the boyar families who had participated at the princely feast. He impaled the older ones on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capital to the town of Poenari. This fifty-mile trek was quite grueling and no one was permitted to rest until they reached destination. Dracula then ordered boyars to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many died in the process, and Dracula therefore succeeded in creating a new nobility and obtaining a fortress for future emergencies. What is left today of the building is identified as Poenari Fortress (Cetatea Poenari).

    Vlad Tepes adopted the method of impaling criminals and enemies and raising them aloft in the town square for all to see. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in the effectiveness of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travelers, but had to remain on the square. According to the available historic sources, it was never stolen and remained entirely unmolested throughout Vlad's reign. Crime and corruption ceased; commerce and culture thrived, and many Romanians to this day view Vlad Tepes as a hero for his fierce insistence on honesty and order.

    In the beginning of 1462, Vlad launched a campaign against the Turks along the Danube River. It was quite risky, the military force of Sultan Mehmed II being by far more powerful than the Wallachian army. However, during the winter of 1462, Vlad was very successful and managed to gain several victories. To punish Dracula, the Sultan decided to launch a full-scale invasion of Wallachia. His other goal was to transform this land into a Turkish province. He entered Wallachia with an army three times larger than Dracula's. Finding himself without allies, and forced to retreat towards Tirgoviste, Vlad burned his own villages and poisoned the wells along the way, so that the Turkish army would find nothing to eat or drink. Moreover, when the Sultan, exhausted, finally reached the capital city, he was confronted by a most gruesome sight: hundreds of stakes held the remaining carcasses of Turkish captives, a horror scene which was ultimately nicknamed the "Forest of the Impaled". This terror tactic deliberately stage-managed by Dracula was definitely successful; the scene had a strong effect on Mehmed's most stout-hearted officers, and the Sultan, tired and hungry, decided to withdraw (it is worth mentioning that even Victor Hugo, in his Legende des Siecles, recalls this particular incident). Nevertheless, following his retreat from Wallachian territory, Mehmed encouraged and supported Vlad's younger brother Radu to take the Wallachian throne. At the head of a Turkish army and joined by Vlad's detractors, Radu pursued his brother to Poenari Castle on the Arges river. According to the legend, this is when Dracula's wife, in order to escape capture, committed suicide by hurling herself from the upper battlements, her body falling down the precipice into the river below — a scene exploited by Francis Ford Coppola's production. Vlad, who was definitely not the kind of man to kill himself, managed to escape the siege of his fortress by using a secret passage into the mountain. He was however, assassinated toward the end of December 1476.

    The only real link between the historical Dracula (1431-1476) and the modern literary myth of the vampire is the 1897 novel. Bram Stoker built his fictional character solely based on the research that he conducted in libraries in London. Political detractors and Saxon merchants, unhappy with the new trade regulations imposed by Vlad, did everything they could to blacken his reputation. They produced and disseminated throughout Western Europe exaggerated stories and illustrations about Vlad's cruelty. Vlad Tepes' reign was however presented in a different way in chronicles written in other parts of Europe. (Excerpts from a feature published in Issue #5 of Journal of the Dark, by Benjamin Leblanc).

    http://www.romaniatourism.com/dracula.html

    2.

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, and the name of its primary character, the vampire Count Dracula.

    Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and repressed sexuality, immigration, post-colonialism and folklore. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for scores of theatrical and film interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Novel background

    Between 1878 and 1898 Stoker was business manager for the world-famous Lyceum Theatre in London, where he supplemented his income by writing a large number of sensational novels, his most famous being the vampire tale Dracula published on May 18, 1897. Parts of it are set around the town of Whitby, where he was living at the time. While Dracula is famous today (due in large part to its 20th century life on film), it was not an important or famous work for Victorian readers, being just another potboiler adventure among many. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, authors such as H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.G. Wells wrote many tales in which fantastic creatures threatened the British Empire. Invasion literature was at a peak, and Stoker's formula of an invasion of England by continental European influences was by 1897 very familiar to readers of fantastic adventure stories.

    Shakespearean actor and friend of Stoker's, Sir Henry Irving was a real-life inspiration for the character of Dracula, tailor-made to his dramatic presence, gentlemanly mannerisms and specialty playing villain roles. Irving, however, never agreed to play the part on stage.Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard's 1885 essay "Transylvania Superstitions", and an evening spent talking about Balkan superstitions with Arminius Vambery. Though the most famous vampire novel ever, Dracula was not the first. It was preceded and partly inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's 1871 Carmilla, about a lesbian vampire who preys on a lonely young woman. The image of a vampire portrayed as an aristocratic man, like the character of Dracula, was created by John Polidori in The Vampyre (1819), during the summer spent with Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley and other friends in 1816. The Lyceum Theatre, where Stoker worked between 1878 and 1898, was headed by the tyrannical actor-manager Henry Irving, who was Stoker's real-life inspiration for Dracula's mannerisms and who Stoker hoped would play Dracula in a stage version. Although Irving never did agree to do a stage version, Dracula's dramatic sweeping gestures and gentlemanly mannerisms drew their living embodiment from Irving.

    The Dead Un-Dead was one of Stoker's original titles for Dracula, and up until a few weeks before publication, the manuscript was titled simply The Un-Dead. The name of Stoker's count was originally going to be Count Vampyre, but while doing research, Stoker ran across an intriguing word in the Romanian language: "Dracul", meaning "Devil". There was also a historic figure known as Vlad the Impaler, but whether Stoker based his character on him remains debated and is now considered unlikely.

    On publication, Dracula was a moderate success. Not until an unauthorized film adaption was released in 1922 (see below) did the popularity of the novel increase considerably, owing to the controversy.

    Dracula is an epistolary novel, written as a collection of diary entries, telegrams, and letters from the characters, as well as fictional clippings from the Whitby and London newspapers and phonograph cylinders. This literary style, made most famous by one of the most popular novels of the 19th century, The Woman in White (1860), was considered rather old-fashioned by the time of the publication of Dracula, but it adds a sense of realism and provides the reader with the perspective of most of the major characters.

    Dracula has been the basis for countless films and plays. Three of the most famous are Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931), and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Nosferatu, a film directed by the German director F.W. Murnau, was produced while Stoker's widow was alive, and the filmmakers were forced to change the setting and the characters' names for copyright reasons. The vampire in Nosferatu is called Count Orlok rather than Count Dracula. Bram Stoker's Dracula, by Francis Ford Coppola, reimagines the count as a tragic figure instead of a monster. It adds an opening sequence that focuses on the count's Romanian background and inserts a new romantic subplot into the story.

    Stoker wrote several other novels dealing with horror and supernatural themes, but none achieved the lasting fame or success of Dracula. His other novels include The Snake's Pass (1890), The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903), and The Lair of the White Worm (1911).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula

  • 3 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Dracula story was based on a vampire villian but was an actual historical figure. Stoker's model was Vlad III Dracula (called Tepes, pronounced tse-pesh); a fifteenth century viovode, or prince, of Wallachia of the princely House of Basarab. Wallachia is a provence of Romania bordered to the north by Transylvania and Moldavia, to the east by the Black Sea and to the south by Bulgaria. Wallachia first emerged as a political entity during the late thirteenth century from the weltering confusion left behind in the Balkans as the Eastern Roman Empire slowly crumbled. The first prince of Wallachia was Basarab the Great (1310-1352), an ancestor of Dracula. Despite the splintering of the family into two rival clans, some members of the House of Basarab continued to govern Wallachia from that time until well after the Ottomans reduced the principality to the status of a client state. Dracula was the last prince of Wallachia to retain any real measure of independence.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Count Dracula was a vampire who is the villian of the novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Written in the late 1800's, it was Stoker's most popular novel and was the basis for a very successful play which in turn was the basis for several movies.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, and the name of its primary character, the vampire Count Dracula.

    Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and repressed sexuality, immigration, post-colonialism and folklore. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for scores of theatrical and film interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Ramona
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Very interesting. I'm a big fan of the Dracula movies.

  • 1 decade ago

    i read in www.crimelibrary.com about true crimes back in year 1602 in Hungary, Countess Elizabeth Bathory use to abduct pretty girls to torture in the most gruesome ways and rumours has it that she use their blood to bath at 4am which will make her more beautiful.But no fact stated that she drank the blood.Many dracula novel had written story based on this true crime.

  • 4 years ago

    Are you a freelance author who would like to understand far more about how to earn great funds performing what you take pleasure in? If you want to advance your writing job

  • 1 decade ago

    He was a Romanian count who used to impale people to death. It is not a legend, it is historical fact.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've read it in the news paper that the count's castle is on sale .I'm DEAD serious

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