Stories of Dracula have fascinated people around the world for generations. Both the fictional vampire created by the Irish author Bram Stoker at the end of the nineteenth century and the fifteenth century Prince called Vlad the Impaler, the man regarded as the historical Dracula, have become part of universal culture. Yet few realize that the Wallachian ruler dubbed “the Impaler,” is not the original Dracula. Instead, that distinction belongs to his father, a little-known prince called Vlad Dracul.
The elder Vlad, who gained the sobriquet Dracul or Dracula when Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg initiated him into the Order of the Dragon in February 1431, was among the most important political personalities of his day. He far surpassed his more famous namesake in those qualities that define a great ruler. Vlad Dracul struggled to protect the independence of his land, under the most difficult of circumstances, against the threats posed by his powerful neighbors, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. In so doing, he in no small way contributed to the survival of his principality at a time when Ottoman expansion in the Balkans expunged countries such as Bulgaria and Serbia from the map of Europe.
Several books have been devoted to the study of his famous son, Vlad the Impaler, but any search for the historical Dracula must begin with the story of the father. Now, for the first time, based on extensive documentary research, the true story of the man who founded the Dracula dynasty is revealed.
My Review: I'm a Romanian native. I went to school in Romania and learned Romanian history for most of my life. However, despite learning bits and pieces about Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) we didn't learn anything about Vlad Dracul. I see that as an outrageous display of ignorance, not necessarily from the part of our history teachers, but the ones creating the curriculum.
That being said, I was lucky enough to read this massive volume way before its publication date. The amount of information can be quite overwhelming. The author is well-versed in Romanian history, and he used all the available documentation in creating this detailed biography of Vlad II Dracul. It's not something I've ever seen on the shelves of bookstores or picked up in a library. It would be a fantastic addition to universities and libraries, but every person interested in Romanian history should pick this up. It's not just an academic volume, but one suited for general trade as well.
Publisher: Gaudium (January 5, 2022)
Hardcover: 456 pages