|Bela Lugosi as the vampire Count Dracula|
Strigoi. Nosferatu. Vampire. In such terms, a reference to the undead, corpses mysteriously kept alive by the blood of the living. Tales of them have existed since the time of the ancient Persians, then popularized in later centuries. None more famous than the blood-drinker Count Dracula immortalized in Bram Stoker’s novel and brought to life on the screen by actors from Bela Lugosi in 1931 to as recently as Luke Evans in 2014 , the legend of this particular vampire is rooted in facts. Dracula was real, not a count, but a prince of Wallachia in the 15th century. To many of his enemies and contemporaries, his deeds epitomized extreme cruelty and bloodlust that only a demonic creature like a vampire would relish.
|The real-life Prince Dracula III |
|A German woodcut showing Prince Dracula eating |
among the bodies of impaled victims
Sources: Radu R. Florescu & Raymond T. McNalley, Dracula - Prince of Many Faces, Bram Stoker - Dracula. All images in the public domain from Wikipedia.
Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by the Middle Ages in Europe. She is the author of two historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, The Burning Candle, based on the life of one of the first countesses of Leicester and Surrey, Isabel de Vermandois, and On Falcon's Wings, chronicling the star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers before the Battle of Hastings. Lisa has also written five novels in a six-part series set in Moorish Spain, Sultana, Sultana’s Legacy, Sultana: Two Sisters, Sultana: The Bride Price and Sultana: The Pomegranate Tree, where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of a powerful family. Her short story, The Legend Rises, which chronicles the Welsh princess Gwenllian of Gwynedd’s valiant fight against English invaders, is also available.