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Sunday, October 16, 2005
DRACULA was stolen from Romanians and Romania 500 years ago, and they never had gotten him back.

** In 1476, Vlad Tepes seized control of Wallachia (just south of Transylvania), after decades of warfare, capture and exile. His country has sufered through years of being chewed up between the Ottoman Turks and the Goly Roman Empire. His father and older brother wee murdered by enraged mobs, and his younger brother, Radu the Handsome, was forced into the sulatna's "Harem".

Vlad put an end to all that and was duly hailed as a hero...until his headless body was found in a marsh ouside Bucharest.

Even worse, Vlad became the victim of the world's first media smear campaign. Fleeing Germans told wild stories about the man called DRACULA, which literally means "Son of the Dragon" (His father was part of the Order of the Dragon, empowered by the Holy Roman Empire to fight the Turks) As luck would have it, Guttenberg had just fired up his printing press and, after banging out the bible, published some of the first secular works ever printed : Anti-Dracula pamphlets, "He had children roasted; these their mothers had to eat", one read. "And he cut the women's breats off; these their husbands had to eat. Afterwards he had them all impaled".

Hence the catchy nickname, "Vlad the Impaler".

In the 1890's, Bram Stoker was working as a stage manager and finishing his second book. But the damn thing was about a vampire, and that market was already flooded. Stoker's diary has no entries saying,"I'm a no-talent hack and should develop develop a laudanum habit", but it's probably what he was thinking.

But then he found a book about a prince who fought bloody battles against the Turks. The details were sketchy and the name Dracula had been mistranslated as "son of the devil", but he sounded like ahell of acharacter. In Stoker's manuscripts, preserved at Philadelphia Rosenbach Museum, you can see where he crossed out his charater's name, the oh-so-original "Count Wampyr," and replaced it with "Dracula". By 1897 Stoker had a created a monster.

(abstracted from MAXIMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:26 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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