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Nov 08, 2012 at 02:59pm IST

Bram Stoker Books: Who was Count Dracula?

Count Dracula, a vampire set in Victorian-era England, was immortalized by writer Bram Stoker in 1897 in his book 'Dracula'. Though he was not the first one to invent the concept of the mythical undead, he gave a modern interpretation to the lore of bloodsuckers.

According to popular opinion, Stoker's Dracula was said to be Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia who was also called Vlad the Impaler upon his death. He was a member of the House of Draculesti and ruled from 1456 to 1462 at the peak of the Ottoman Turks' conquest of the Balkans.

The name Dracula came from Vlad III's father, Vlad II Dracul who was a member of the Order of the Dragon that had the mandate to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Dracula literally means 'Son of Dracul'.

Bram Stoker Books: Who was Count Dracula?

Stoker didn't invent the mythical undead, but gave a modern interpretation to the lore of bloodsuckers.

Stoker had initially thought of naming the villain of his piece Count Wampyr while reading Romanian history. But the name Dracula fascinated him. Since then, there have been many interpretations of the vampire - down to the latest version in the hugely popular Twilight series of Stephenie Meyer.

The book was adapted into a film 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' in 1992 by Francis Ford Coppola and starred Gary Oldman as Count Dracula.

Stoker portrayed Dracula as an aristocrat who wasn't reflected in a mirror. He had initially intended the title to be 'The Un-Dead'. The Count haunts a castle in the Carpathian Mountains near the Borgo Pass and in his interactions with solicitor Jonathan Harker who has taken up boarding with him, he comes across as deeply proud of his heritage.

Dracula makes plans to unleash terror in England and in the process comes across Dutch doctor Van Helsing who tries to stop him. (Primary source: Wikipedia)