A wonderful piece on a subject that has fascinated me for many years now- Dracula.
Its a longish read, spanning themes in Bram Stoker's book, and also the proliferation (continued) of annotated editions, that shows no signs of slowing down.
Naturally, it also refers to the fascinating (and largely wishful) theory of Stoker basing his villain on an actual, historical, character.
This theory formed the basis of the Dracula part of Elizabeth Kostova's absorbing, atmospheric and thoroughly enjoyable novel from a few years back, The Historian. It prompted a few days' worth of Google and wiki work on my part, burrowing through the innumerable vampire legends that inevitably left me submerged and hapless.
...“The Essential Dracula,” edited by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu, had its own originality... They had a sexy new theory: that Stoker based the character of Dracula on a historical personage, Vlad Dracula- also known as Vlad Tepes- a fifteenth-century Walachian prince who, in defending his homeland against the Turks, acquired a reputation for cruelty unusual even among warriors of that period.
But, enough on that. Its a good read, this, if you are at all interested in the myth or have ever been sucked in by Bram Stoker's novel.