The Origin of Count Dracula - analyzes the different theories developed after Bram Stoker's Dracula was released

Essay by jpiercefCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

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Bram Stoker's Dracula has been one of the most popular

Gothic novels since it was released in the 19th century.

English professors all over the world are frequently trying

to solve the question of the origin of Count Dracula. There are approximately four theories concerning the source of Dracula. The most elaborate and believable theory is that which states that Bram Stoker modeled his character,

Dracula, after a 15th century warrior named Vlad "Tepes"


Despite common belief, Bram Stoker was not the creator of vampires. The belief in vampires has existed all throughout recorded history, since the beginning of time. When man realized that the "blood is the life"(Deuteronomy, 12:33), they also assumed that drinking blood would prolong their lives and renew their vitality. Since that time period, many legends and folklore have developed about the characteristics of vampires, most of which originated in Eastern Europe. According to Bulgarian folklore, vampires have only one nostril, which differs somewhat from the Polish idea of a sharp, pointed tongue.

Hungarian tales began the legend that vampires could change into clouds of mist, in order to help them move around.

The majority of the legends that Stoker used in writing Dracula originated in Hungary, mainly because one of Stoker's closest friends was Arminius Vambery, a Hungarian professor at Budapest. Vambery was an excellent source for Stoker because of his vast knowledge in the legends and folklore of vampires. Vambery is also thought to have introduced Stoker to the historical Vlad "Tepes" Dracula.

From that point, Stoker took it upon himself to further his learning on the Wallachian prince by reading a book entitled An Account of Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia by William Wilkinson. In this particular book , there is a short section called "voivode Dracula", which mean s "Prince...