Vlad the Impaler
By M. J. Trow
Who was the man who inspired the Dracula legend?
In spring 1460, a contemporary wrote, ‘untold abuses, damage hardly reparable, sad murders, multilations, sorrows’ were visited upon the city of Brasov, by ‘the unfaithful cruel tyrant Dracula, who calls himself Vlad…He did this following the teaching of the Devil’. According to legend, he impaled his victims, then sat at table mopping up their blood from his plate. Later he hung the still alive bodies in a field of stakes. So began the history of Vlad the Impaler.
But were his actions the righteous defence of a kingdom? An act of vengeance for the cruel deaths of his father and brother? Or the unspeakable fury of a madman with a taste for blood?
Here, M.J. Trow reveals the real man whose name gave birth to a legend. He explores the terror with which the character was once associated, going backwards in time from the celluloid Count of Hammer and Universal Studios to the literary creations of Bram Stoker, Sheridan le Fanu, and John Polidori.
This book also looks at Vlad from the many facets he has left to history: The Impaler, the Renaissance prince ‘more sinned against than sinning’, the hero on a white horse who welded Wallachia into defiant nation-state, the defeated martyr captured by the Hungarian king Corvinus. A stylishly written and compelling narrative, this book unravels the true story behind the image, and takes us into the heart of the bloody, uncertain world of medieval Europe.