One of the most popular stories ever told, it is essentially a Victorian saga, an awesome tale of thrillingly bloodthirsty vampire whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of a supremely moralistic age. Above all, Dracula is a quintessential story of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters in literature: centuries-old Count Dracula, whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, the beautiful.
Abraham "Bram" Stoker, born in 1847 in Dublin, Ireland and died April 20, 1912, in London, England. Stoker was a bedridden invalid until he was seven. He attended Trinity College (University of Dublin), where, having outgrown his youthful weakness, he became an outstanding athlete. After spending 10 years in the civil service at Dublin Castle, during which time he also served as an unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Mail, he made the acquaintance of his idol, the actor Sir Henry Irving.
From 1878 until Irving's death 27 years later, Stoker acted as his manager, writing as many as 50 letters a day for him and accompanying him on his American tours. During this period Stoker began to write short stories. His first horror story was published in 1875. The Snake's Pass, his first novel, was published in 1890, and in 1897 his masterpiece, Dracula, appeared.
Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.
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