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Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476)

March 27, 2009

Vlad the Impaler

Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476)

A famous portrait of Vlad the Impaler.As you may well know, author Bram Stoker (1847-1912) based the title character of his 1897 novel Dracula on an actual human being, or should we say inhuman being.  In this website, we will try our best to make the distinction between the real and the imaginary, the facts and the fiction.  This is not an easy task, considering the amount of vampire lore which has imbibed our culture since Dracula was first published in 1897.

Even if you haven’t yet read Stoker’s novel, and seen the stage play which came after, you have probably seen some of the many films based on his character. Some of the most important cinematic adaptations are F.W. Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece “Nosferatu”, which was loosely based on Dracula but subjected to a “makeover” for copyright reasons, Todd Browning’s “Dracula”, which starred Bela Lugosi, a Romanian actor who had previously incarnated the titular character on the stage, and would forever be remembered, and unfortunately typecast as Dracula; the British Hammer Films releases of the 70s, which starred Christopher Lee as a sexier, and far more violent vampire.  While there were others in between, one of the most interesting, although flawed adaptation, of Dracula was Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 release, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”.  Coppola’s version is noteworthy for it’s inclusion of the “Order of the Dracul”, which cleverly interwove the fictional vampire with the historical figure.

What is interesting to note, is that Stoker’s vampire, while being loosely based on Vlad the Impaler, is nowhere near as threatening, nor as sadistic.  Stoker’s Dracula is a mysterious, somewhat sensual character who kills and feeds to survive, much like any being in nature.  In fact, as much as there is reference to the evil of Dracula, it can be reasoned that all of his actions were motivated by survival. Vlad the Impaler, on the other hand, killed not to feed, but to revel in his own power, and just for the sheer pleasure of seeing the suffering of his numerous victims. We will attempt to put together as accurate a portrait of the man as available documentation permits, his life, loves, enemies, and all of his infamous deeds.

Vlad the Impaler wasn’t a “real” vampire, but he probably caused more rivers of blood to flow than any other tyrant in the history of the world. Bear in mind that there are many versions of Vlad the Impaler’s life story, and there are no entirely accurate ones.  We have cross referenced every detail to try and bring you what we believe is the most accurate portrait of a man who keeps inspiring fear into each and every new generation.  In this website, you will learn how Vlad Dracula came to be known as “the Impaler”, you will also be able to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and you will be shown an open door to the most interesting and accurate resources on Vlad the Impaler and  Dracula, from books, to movies, to websites.


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