Guest Blog: Voivode vs. Vampire – Dracula in Modern Literature

Interesting Literature

By Gemma Norman, University of Birmingham

The name ‘Dracula’ is a name synonymous with vampires: the handsome, seductive aristocratic Count of Bram Stoker’s novel is the image that first comes to mind upon hearing the name. Most people have also heard the name Vlad the Impaler, but it’s rare to find someone who knows that they are one and the same person. Known in Romanian as Vlad Ţepeş and in Turkish as Kazıkulu Bey (The Impaler Prince) Vlad III ruled three times as Voivode (from the Slavic for warlord) of Wallachia. A member of the House of Drăculeşti, a branch of the House of Basarab Vlad gained the name ‘Dracula’ from his father, also called Vlad who was known as ‘Dracul’ or ‘The Dragon’ due to his membership in this chivalric order under the patronage of King Sigismund of Hungary. This Order was sworn to fight the Ottoman Turks…

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Interview with the Vampire | Rice

20th Century most famous Vampire Novels

Interview with the Vampire is a vampire novel by American author Anne Rice, published in 1976. Released on film 1994

The book spawned a total of nine sequels, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, and the spin-off series New Tales of the Vampires. The first sequel, The Vampire Lestat, was published in 1985 and sold more than 75,000 copies in its first printing, garnering largely favorable reviews. Novels set in New Orleans, Louisiana, continues through Europe, returning back to the United States.

Interview with the Vampire (1976)
The Vampire Lestat (1985)
The Queen of the Damned (1988)
The Vampire Armand (1998)
Queen of the Damned

New Tales of the Vampires     

Pandora (1998)
Vittorio the Vampire (1999)

Rice also wrote a series of witch book under the Pseudonym Anne Rampling and A. N. Roquelaure

Lives of the Mayfair Witches

     The Witching Hour (1990)
     Lasher (1993)
     Taltos (1994)

Vampyre A Tale

Vampyre A Tale 1819

Vampyre A Tale 1819

The Vampyre” is a short story or novella written in 1819 by John William Polidori which is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. The work is described by Christopher Frayling as “the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literary genre.”


  • Lord Ruthven — a suave British nobleman, the vampire
  • Aubrey — a wealthy young gentleman, an orphan
  • Ianthe — a beautiful Greek woman Aubrey meets on his journeys with Ruthven.
  • Aubrey’s sister — who becomes engaged to the Earl of Marsden
  • Earl of Marsden — who is also Lord Ruthven
  • Polidori’s work had an immense impact on contemporary sensibilities and ran through numerous editions and translations. An adaptation appeared in 1820 with Cyprien Bérard’s novel, Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires, falsely attributed to Charles Nodier, who himself then wrote his own version, Le Vampire, a play which had enormous success and sparked a “vampire craze” across Europe. This includes operatic adaptations by Heinrich Marschner (see Der Vampyr) and Peter Josef von Lindpaintner (see Der Vampyr), both published in the same year and called “The Vampire”. Nikolai Gogol, Alexandre Dumas, and Alexis Tolstoy all produced vampire tales, and themes in Polidori’s tale would continue to influence Bram Stoker’s Dracula and eventually the whole vampire genre. Dumas makes explicit reference to Lord Ruthwen in The Count of Monte Cristo, going so far as to state that his character “The Comtesse G…” had been personally acquainted with Lord Ruthwen.[10]

    In England, James Planché’s play The Vampire, or The Bride of the Isles was first performed in London in 1920 at the Lyceum Theatre[11] based Charles Nodier’s Le Vampire, which was based on Polidori.[12] Such melodramas were satirised in Ruddigore, by Gilbert and Sullivan (1887), a character called Sir Ruthven must abduct a maiden, or he will die.[13]