real vampires, vampire games and tv shows, movies or films, and vampire books

Did Bram Disservice Dracula?

I saw something online the other day, posted in a fan page dedicated to the historical Vlad Dracula. Most of the posts in the site are not in English, so I’ve questioned why I follow it. It’s just that they occasionally have some neat photographs, and I can always resort to having Facebook translate for me. This particular post that snagged my attention, though, happened to be in English. Improperly spelled and structured English, but as English probably isn’t the first language for this individual I will refrain from criticism. I can’t even imagine the kind of gibberish I would create if I were tasked with translating something from English into some other language.

Anyway, this person said that Bram Stoker had done a grave (*ahem*) disservice to Dracula. I see where he was coming from, but I cannot agree. He wants people to know Vlad Dracula as he really was, as a real person and historical figure. This real identity has gotten lost, he argued, amidst all the vampire stuff. Okay, that’s true, but permit me to counter: Had Bram Stoker not chosen to name his fictional vampire after the historical figure, would anyone outside of specialist scholars have ever heard of Vlad Dracula? Vlad would have relegated to a curious footnote in the history books. People might have heard of him, like people have heard about Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. But how many people can tell you any real facts about either of those dudes? When did they live? When did they die? Where were they born and where were they buried? Dracula is far, far more famous. And that is largely because of Bram Stoker. Stoker made Dracula a star.

TheCheezman • June 2, 2020

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