Vlad the Impaler
‘Here begins a very cruel, frightening story about a wild, bloodthirsty man, Dracula the voivod …’
Historian and crime writer M.J. Trow draws back the dark curtain of legend to look at the real Vlad Tepes, set against the background of his times. Later generations associated him with pure evil and accepted the stories of his murders, mutilations and impalements without question. And later still, thanks to Bram Stoker, he shifted his shape into the doyen of the undead, complete with haunted castles, terrifying bats and an unearthly aversion to sunlight.
The real Vlad Dracula lived in Transylvania, in the horseshoe of the Carpathian Mountains (today’s Romania) and ruled his state of Wallachia three times. Making war against the Ottoman Turks, rivals to his throne and keeping his people in check, his was a life steeped in blood. But was he ‘a prince more sinned against than sinning’? To Romanians, he is a hero on a white horse, a nationalist leader who carried out dreadful deeds in order to save the country he loved. To others, he was a rapacious homicidal maniac whose cruelty has no parallel, in his day or any other.