On May 26, 1897, the horror novel Dracula, by Irish author Bram Stoker, was published in London, England. The novel, written as a series of letters and journal entries, was only moderately popular in Stoker’s lifetime. Today, Dracula is considered the definitive vampire novel.Stoker took his inspiration from many sources. Vampires, legendary creatures who feed on the blood of living beings, had been a part of Europe’s supernatural landscape for hundreds of years. Two real-life historical figures also inspired Stoker’s bloodthirsty count. The fictional Count Dracula’s home is in Transylvania, a part of modern-day Romania that was also home to Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), whose family name was Dracula. Vlad’s habit of impaling his enemies on long wooden spikes inspired his nickname, although his sinister reputation only developed after his death. Stoker’s other inspiration was the Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory, nicknamed the “Blood Countess.” Bathory was accused of having dozens of young women killed, and bathing in their blood.The novel Dracula only became truly popular with the release of the first Dracula film (starring Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi in what would become his signature role) in 1931. Since then, the novel has never been out of print, and hundreds of versions of the story and its charismatic antihero have enjoyed similar success.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry antihero Noun
central character (protagonist) who lacks traditional heroic qualities.
capable of inspiring or influencing large numbers of people.
complete and final.
media, such as books or films, that are imaginative and not true stories.
terror or fear.
to pierce on a sharpened stick.
something that influences the development of an idea.
the geographic features of a region.
Encyclopedic Entry: landscape legendary Adjective
famous, heroic, or celebrated.
of medium quality or quantity, not extreme.
fictional narrative or story.
to provide a written piece of work, such as a book or newspaper, for sale or distribution.
estimation or value in which a person or thing is held.
unique identifying feature or characteristic.
evil or threatening.
having to do with powers not explained by science or nature.
supernatural creature who drinks the blood of the living.
specific account or variation of something.