After college, Stoker started in show biz as the personal assistant of superstar actor Henry Irving, then became manager of London's Lyceum Theater. The Dublin Evening Mail newspaper hired him as a theater critic, where his boss was Sheridan LeFanu. LeFanu was no slouch at writing spooky tales himself: his vampire novel Carmilla, 1871, has been made into several movies.
Stoker started reading the history of Romania and Wallachia, and came across the stories of a fierce warrior family. The ruler, Vlad Dracul, was relentless in saving his country from Turkish invaders. His legends gave Stoker the idea for Dracula, written in 1897.
The original manuscript was thought to be lost. It turned up, typed but full of Stoker's handwritten corrections, in a barn in the 1980s. It showed that the original title for the book was The Undead and the main character was called Count Wampyre before Stoker changed him to Dracula. That manuscript is now owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
On Stoker's 165th birthday, he was honored with a Google doodle!
Dracula has been revered as a classic right up there with Moby Dick and A Christmas Carol. It is the quintessential book that EVERYONE simply must read, but was it ever really that good? Sure, it's easy to look at everything authors are capable of now and look down on this classic piece.
Still, some people like to build a case that Dracula not only still manages to hold-up, but that it is somehow better than some of the more modern pieces that came out just last year. It's hard to really say without infusing a bit of personal experience into the mix.
Technique-wise, Dracula is a dreadful book to have to get through and it's made tedious by the narrative style and choices which are prevalent throughout the entire story. Basically, if you don't like how the story is told in the first few pages, you're kinda in for a long ride. Content-wise, it's rather remarkable given what was around at the time. Like most good things, it seems that Dracula benefited from a niche following and a unique idea - execution-wise, it could have been better.
These days, vampires are not so much seen as ugly, terrifying creatures but are actually portrayed more as brooding and angsty. This ca be seen in novels and movies such as those found in the Twilight series. It is thus interesting to wonder whether or not this is a trend that will continue to develop or if vampires will once again take on their initial portrayals. Perhaps they will even emerge to become portrayed differently.
Regardless, if you are a fan of vampires, then you will want to pick up some copies of the most recent and some classic vampire books and movies, as this can be a great way to learn more about them.
Vampires were known to be the corpses of dead humans who have come back from the dead to drink the blood of the living. The specific reasons of why these corpses come back from the dead vary as much as the stories themselves. Some folkloric tales suggest that vampires were people who rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church while other stories suggest that corpses turned into vampires if the person was bitten by a vampire before their death.
One of the most famous vampires of all time is Dracula, portrayed in Bram Stoker's famous novel. However many people don't know that Dracula was based on a real life Romania ruler named Vladimir Tepes, or as he is known to the locals, Vlad Dracula. Dracula translates to "son of dracul" or more accurately, "son of the dragon." He was called this because his father was famous for being a knight in the Order of the Dragon.
As the day turns to dusk, the vampire slowly begins to wake up, smelling the sweet scent of a meal. In the cloak of darkness, the vampire either walks the streets to find a victim, or the vampire has someone in mind to go visit. If the vampire is not eating, he is usually trying to find someone to turn into a vampire or with others of his kind. Before the sun rises, the vampire goes back to his resting place to wait for the next evening to do everything again.
Since the novel was written, vampires have been an important part of the collective culture. People seem to like the idea of vampires because they seem to be the safest of all nightmares. Although they are sometimes portrayed as frightening, it is the dual nature of the vampire that keeps them popular in people's minds. It is almost impossible to root against the vampire because as evil as they seem when the moon is up, they seem equally vulnerable and lonely whenever the sun rises.
Since the original Dracula was written, the vampire has remained a popular figure in fiction and culture. The vampire has human aspects that are easily relatable.