Friday, May 26, 2017

Vampires

Today is World Dracula Day!

On May 26 1897 Bram Stoker's Dracula novel was released for sale in London.  It is known as a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic literature.

The name Dracula is thought to have originated from Vlad III who ruled Wallachia from 1431-1476. Vlad III was given the name Vlad the Impaler as his favourite way of punishing his enemies was to impale them on wooden stakes. The nickname comes from his father calling himself Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Dragon)  His son Vlad III became Dracula meaning son of the dragon.  Dracul also means 'devil' in Romanian.

Vampires in popular legend are fanged creatures who prey on humans and consume their blood. They have been featured in folklore and fiction for hundreds of years.  Mostly they are depicted as the 'undead' who rise nightly from coffins.  They can range from grotesque to perfectly beautiful.

Stoker described Dracula as having a cruel looking mouth with sharp white teeth and ears with a point at the top. He was extremely pale, making Dita Von Teese look like she has fallen in a bath of tanning lotion!

Dozens of vampire themed movies, TV shows and literature have been made since Stoker's novel was released.  Some famous ones are 1958 Dracula starring Christopher Lee and 1993 Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  Other works of fiction characterise vampires as promiscuous.  These include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the True Blood series by Charlaine Harris and the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer (which we have in multiple languages, for our Modern Languages students).

Check out our exciting array of Gothic literature.

References:   
Eldridge, A. (2017). Vampire. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/vampire
Senf, C. (2014). Dracula. In J. A. Weinstock, The ashgate encyclopedia of literary and cinematic monsters. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/

No comments: