In 1890, Bram Stoker and actor Henry Irving had dinner with Professor Arminius Vambery of Hungary. The man made enough of an impression on the author that he references the Professor in his novel. (Van Helsing relates how he has written to his friend, Professor Arminius of Budapest, for information on Count Dracula. Arminius informs Van Helsing that Dracula “must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk . . . spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the ‘land beyond the forest.’”) But this meeting with Vambery took place a few months BEFORE Stoker learned about the historical Dracula while doing research in Whitby, England. Also, by that point, Stoker had already been working on his novel, featuring a vampiric villain named “Count Wampyr.” It doesn’t make sense that Stoker would have plied Vambery for information on an individual whom he did not yet know existed. Afterwards, though . . .
Is it not plausible, and even likely, that, once he learned about the historical Dracula, whose name inspired him to rechristen his vampire Count, Stoker would have asked Vambery to elaborate? I suspect he did, and that he knew a goodly amount about Vlad the Impaler. Only he learned it AFTER the literary Dracula was mostly fleshed-out. It’s theory only, and lacks substantiating evidence. But it works for me. Whadda y’all think?