Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26 - Dracula

The epistolary Gothic horror novel Dracula by Irish author Abraham “Bram” Stoker was published in England on May 26, 1897. As a theater critic for a Dublin newspaper, Stoker became friends with British actor Henry Irving, whose London theater he began managing in 1878. In that job Stoker wrote several novels, including Dracula, the story of Count Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania (central Romania) to England and his ensuing battle with Prof. Abraham Van Helsing. Stoker was inspired by dark tales of the Carpathian mountains in Eastern Europe, told by a Hungarian traveler he had met. He then researched folklore about vampires. Dracula's personality is modeled on Irving’s dramatic gestures and courtly mannerisms. The book was titled The Un-Dead until just before publication, and the count’s name was originally "Count Wampyr" until Stoker became interested in the name "Dracula," the patronym of descendants of duke Vlad II of Wallachia (Romania). "Dracul" in Romanian means either "dragon" or "devil."

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