Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today is...Bram Stoker's Birth Anniversary

Today in 1847 Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.

In 1878, Stoker married Florence Balcombe, who had previously had a relationship with Oscar Wilde. Wilde and Stoker knew each other at university, having both been in the Philosophical Society.

Stoker was distantly related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes.

Though now he is remembered primarily for Dracula, during his lifetime, Bram Stoker was mostly known for being the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre in London.

The main character of Dracula was inspired by Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, also known as Vlad Tepes, posthumously known as Vlad the Impaler.

Vlad III ruled Wallachia, present day Romania, from 1456-1462 (and also in 1448 and 1476).

His father, Vlad II was known as Vlad Dracul, after being inducted into the Order of the Dragon, a monarchical chivalric order. This was a ploy to gain political favor from the Catholic Church in order to gain help in protecting Wallachia against the Ottoman Empire.

It has been claimed that Mary of Teck, grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, is a distant  descendant of Vlad Tepes' song Vlad Tepelus and Mihnea the Bad. Prince Charles publicly confirmed the relationship in 2011.

 It is impossible that Vlad III was a vampire as after his death his head was taken to Constantinople as a trophy.

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