Dracula

Vampires has been around for quite some time and many of you would think of Bram Stoker’s Dracula as the best vampire classical book. In fact, even if Dracula was not the first ever literature written about vampires, it is the one that popularized vampires. Bram Stoker did not simply invent the idea of vampires. He based it the stories or tales about the dead not being dead and coming back to take their lover or relatives. More importantly, the setting he used on the novel and inspiration for the character of Count Dracula played a huge part in the novel’s success.

First, let’s see the historical background of Dracula to know how vampires came to be.

Vlad Tepes

Bram Stoker initially thought of using the name “Count Wamypr” for the character of the count but changed it to “Count Dracula” when he became inspired in the life of Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia. Vlad’s father was a member of the Order of the Dragon, an order to promote Christianity and defend against the OttomanTurks, thus his name became Vlad Dracul. Dracul means dragon or devil. Naturally, Vlad Tepes became Vlad Dracula which translates to “son of dragon” or “son of devil”.

Vlad Tepes, now Vlad Dracula when he became the ruler of Walachia, was well known for his merciless killings. He used the method of impalement to punish anyone, his enemies, and even his own people who committed a crime against anyone. He would display those who were impaled at the town square so that no one would dare to commit another crime. This method was gruesome but effective because people were now too afraid to commit any crime. Because of this, his capital city was known as the “Forest of the Impales” because of a huge number of people impaled and displayed for all to see.

Setting of Dracula will be posted next.

More about Dracula:

Emergence of Vampires in Literature

Introduction

People will often refer to Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula when asked on the popularization of the concept of vampires. Dracula was not the first ever literature about vampires. It was just the first novel that attracted the most attention of the public that is why people see Dracula as one of the classical vampire books.

Here is a list of the first books published about vampires.

1. The Vampire (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder

A poem about a vampire wanting to do what he does best which is to drink blood. The vampire wanted to visit a woman to drink her blood and influence her to stray from her religion.

Here are some of the lines of the poem:

And as softly thou art sleeping
To thee shall I come creeping
And thy life’s blood drain away.
And so shalt thou be trembling
For thus shall I be kissing
And death’s threshold thou’ it be crossing

Click here for the complete poem

2. The Giaour – Unquenched, Unquenchable (1813) by Lord George Gordon Byron

This is an epic poem that contains some elements about vampires. A giaour, a character in the poem, was predicted to become a vampire and that he would kill all his relatives by drinking their blood. This would be the curse given to the giaour for killing Hassan, and a curse that he would inflict on his relatives.

Here are some of the lines of the poem:

But first, on earth as vampire sent,
Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghostly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;

Click here for the complete poem

3. The Vampyre by John William Polidori

A short story about Aubrey(male), who meets a peculiar man named Lord Ruthven. They traveled together but Aubrey set out to Greece without Lord Ruthven because of the warning of Aubrey’s guardians against Lord Ruthven. Aubrey then fell in love with Ianthe but died with puncture marks on her neck. Aubrey again, joined Lord Ruthven in travelling. On one occasion, Lord Ruthven was killed but not before making Aubrey promise to not mention his death to anyone. When Aubrey returns to home, he is shocked to meet Lord Ruthven all alive And well.

4. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This is a Gothic novella about Laura who lives a quiet life until she meets Camilla, a vampire with lesbian inclinations. Laura then falls sick and so does the other people around her. Does Camilla have anything to do with it?

5. Dracula by Bram Stoker

A novel about Jonathan Harker who meets Count Dracula to finalize a real estate transfer. Harker later finds out that Count Dracula drinks human blood and wants to kill him. The Count later leaves for England to escape Harker’s attempt to kill him. Mina, Harker’s fiancée, was worried about her friend Lucy who sleepwalks and found puncture marks on her neck. After many nights, Lucy’s health deteriorates. Dr. Stewart, one of Lucy’s former suitors enlists Dr. Abraham Van Helsing’s help to find out what causes Lucy’s case of blood loss.

Since Dracula by Bram Stoker have a huge influence on vampire literature, I decided to write about it’s historical background and why and how Stoker decided to write it. I’ll probably post it within the week.

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The Giaour – Unquenched, Unquenchable by Lord George Gordon Byron

This is a passage from Lord George Gordon Byron’s epic poem, The Giaour. The passage is about a vampire cursed to take the lives of his relatives by drinking their blood so that he may live.

…Unquenched, unquenchable,
Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!
But first, on earth as vampire sent,
Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghostly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corpse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know thy demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
But one that for thy crime must fall,
The youngest, most beloved of all,
Shall bless thee with a father’s name-
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark
Her cheek’s last tinge, her eye’s last spark,
And the last glassy glance must view
Which freezes o’er its lifeless blue;
Then with unhallowed hand shall tear
The tresses of her yellow hair,
Of which in life a lock when shorn
Affection’s fondest pledge was worn,
But now is borne away by thee,
Memorial of thine agony!
Date: 1813
Source: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/giaour-unquenched-unquenchable
Love Poems? Click here to read Heinrich August Ossenfelder’s The Vampire
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The Vampire by Heinrich August Ossenfelder

My dear young maiden clingeth
Unbending, fast and firm
To all the long-held teaching
Of a mother ever true;
As in vampires unmortal
Folk on the Theyse’s portal
Heyduck-like do believe.
But my Christine thou dost dally,
And wilt my loving parry
Till I myself avenging
To a vampire’s health a-drinking
Him toast in pale tockay.

And as softly thou art sleeping
To thee shall I come creeping
And thy life’s blood drain away.
And so shalt thou be trembling
For thus shall I be kissing
And death’s threshold thou’ it be crossing
With fear, in my cold arms.
And last shall I thee question
Compared to such instruction
What are a mother’s charms?

Date: 1748
First literary work about vampires

Poem Source:
http://teachers.sau36.org/wmrsd/wmrhs/TeacherPages/jsorochak/Appreciation%20of%20Lit/Story_Patterns/Vampire-Tales/Vampire%20Poetry.pdf

Love Poems? Click here to read The Giaour – Unquenched, Unquenchable by Lord George Gordon Byron

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Welcome

Hello!!! Welcome to my blog, VAMPIRE101. First things first, before I start blogging (about vampires obviously), I would just like to get my “inaugural post” out-of-the-way. I decided to start a blog just for fun and as something that I could go to and distract myself from school work especially when there’s a lot of stress. I’m a college student and I honestly never thought that college would be so hard especially when I saw my schedule which I have 4 hours of class a day and I thought why do I only have four hours of class a day? Isn’t it such a waste of time and I wanted to increase my class hours but the college said no. Now back to my point, I thought that I’m gonna have an easy life in college but I was so wrong. Classes are really tough and some professors are strict and scary so I really have to work hard, toughen up, and be ready to battle everyday so for those who survived college, I salute you, hands down,you’re the best and for those who’s still in college like me, I’m giving you a virtual hug right now and wish you all the best of luck. Sooooo…. these things are stressing me out and just one day, I was just surfing the net and I came upon this article about blogging and I basically did some research about it which got me interested so here I am.

About Vampire101, I had a hard time thinking of what to blog about. I’m interested in food, books, movies, a couple of animes and mangas so I don’t know what to choose. I thought of what was the first thing that got me interested in books and movies and its Twilight Saga. Now for those who don’t like Twilight don’t worry this blog is not all about it, it’s just what introduced me to the concept of vampires. So I thought why not blog about my interests which has a vampire content in it?

So this blog is going to be all about vampires. Their different myths, origin, strengths/powers, weaknesses, physical appearance, and a lot of other stuff. I am also going to write about books, movies, TV shows, animes, and mangas that contains vampires in it.

So that is it, I hope you’d support my blog and don’t forget to leave a comment or suggestions on how I can improve my blog further. Thank You! and Happy 2015!!!!! May we all have a good year together!

Love Poems? Click here to read my first official post, Heinrich August Ossenfelder’s The Vampire or here to read Lord George Gordon Byron’s The Giaour – Unquenched, Unquenchable

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