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Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler 1431-1476

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30 review for Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler 1431-1476

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    (That's annoying there is no picture associated with this book on here.) This was a highly researched and very comprehensive biography on the infamous Vlad the Imapaler, or Dracula as he was called. I have to admit I didn't read the whole thing. I skipped most of the beginning about his father and childhood, as I had already read a lot of that elsewhere. What I was interested in, was the legends that have followed him through the centuries, and those chapters certainly did not disappoint. They sai (That's annoying there is no picture associated with this book on here.) This was a highly researched and very comprehensive biography on the infamous Vlad the Imapaler, or Dracula as he was called. I have to admit I didn't read the whole thing. I skipped most of the beginning about his father and childhood, as I had already read a lot of that elsewhere. What I was interested in, was the legends that have followed him through the centuries, and those chapters certainly did not disappoint. They said in the beginning of this book that it took them 10 years to write this, and was the cause of poring through old documents, books, paintings, and even childhood Romanian songs. Kudos to the authors for devoting their time to release what is one of the only real biographies of Dracula.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I met one of the authors at UN-l. Hb. Protected jacket. 2 bookplates incl mine

  3. 4 out of 5

    Calypso Illusion (Jessie)

    Really in depth accounts about his family history and devoured all the ones he wrote after watching his documentaries. Amazing historical input!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cherry

    Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler is the second research volume of three research books. It is definitely far more complete than the first volume and contains a whole lot of new information. Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally introduced us with a summary of geopolitical situation around Wallachia in their introductory chapter to get a better grasp of 15th century period in Europe before taking us into the personal and political life of Vlad III Dracula. In this second book, Vlad III Dra Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler is the second research volume of three research books. It is definitely far more complete than the first volume and contains a whole lot of new information. Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally introduced us with a summary of geopolitical situation around Wallachia in their introductory chapter to get a better grasp of 15th century period in Europe before taking us into the personal and political life of Vlad III Dracula. In this second book, Vlad III Dracula is not seen as just the character inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula anymore but an influential historical figure whose acts changed the shape of Romanian and Balkan history. The authors did well to present us their methodological research, translated documents both from internal and external sources, and even different perspectives from other historians on the subject of Vlad III Dracula. It is indeed true that Vlad III Dracula’s torture and punishment methods can be seen as cruel and inhumane although not uncommon in 15th century but what causes him to go that far? In order to understand Vlad III Dracula’s reasoning, R. Florescu and R. T. McNally described the difficult position Wallachia had at that time. Externally, Wallachia was pitted against two powerful nations, Hungarian Kingdom and Ottoman Turks, with both tried to vassalize Wallachia. Internally, disloyal boyars created political instability along with rapid succession of princes due to lack of primogeniture succession laws. All of these were one the many reasons that drove Vlad III Dracula’s extreme mass killings to “cleanse” the corruption within his state and to protect Wallachia from foreign threats. By doing that, Vlad III Dracula came to be feared as the Impaler or “Țepeș” and successfully planted “fear” as his main instrument in ruling Wallachia. Even Meḥmed II the Conqueror, overawed by the amount of impaled twenty-thousand corpses near Tîrgoviște, stated that a man who performs such deeds should be worthier of greater things. R. Florescu and R. T. McNally did a brilliant job in compiling Vlad III Dracula biography from his early childhood life, his adolescence in Turkish captivity, and his three separate reigns in Wallachia including his imprisonment by the Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus. In addition, extensive footnotes and bibliography at the end of the book shows how dedicated R.Florescu and R.T. McNally in researching this interesting Romanian historical figure. However, reading this book took quite a time for me since it’s not just containing abundant information but also the writing is kind of academic dissertation style. The lack of detailed maps and necessary photos also makes it hard to discern all the information in this book. But I’m pleased nonetheless. 100% recommended for those who want to learn more about Vlad III Dracula the Impaler!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

    Like it or not, I think the majority of readers will be Westerners, that is, folks who may know where York, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna are, but haven't the slightest idea about Tîrgoviste, Sighisoara, the Arges, or even Wallachia for that matter. There isn't a single map in the book! An illustration of a period map of the area--whatever area it purports to be--is of little use. It's a picture, not a map. The authors sort out a lot of the literature about ol' Drac, and do a good job of explaining Like it or not, I think the majority of readers will be Westerners, that is, folks who may know where York, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna are, but haven't the slightest idea about Tîrgoviste, Sighisoara, the Arges, or even Wallachia for that matter. There isn't a single map in the book! An illustration of a period map of the area--whatever area it purports to be--is of little use. It's a picture, not a map. The authors sort out a lot of the literature about ol' Drac, and do a good job of explaining Vlad Tepes vs. Count Dracula. Much of the information, or beliefs, about vampires seems to have been collected in the sixties from peasants in backwoods Communist Rumania; I wonder how much more information or what are they thinking in 2014 (although it's not the book's fault that I waited forty years to read it)? The research is quite scholarly and they weigh the value of the information. Annoyingly, they quote material in French or Latin and don't translate it. They also are fond of the word, "tergiversate," which seems to be a key ingredient of Slavian diplomacy back then. All in all, I found it to be a dry read, confusing (no maps) at points, yet sometimes interesting for the wealth of information presented. I doubt I'll mentally retain much; the authors' earlier work, In Search of Dracula, is more than sufficient an introduction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    A serious biography that took a decade to write. I was interested in all the ins-and-outs of Balkan power politics at the time. In Romania, Dracula is regarded as a national hero, with monuments abounding, and they resent the idea that he was a vampire. They're right, I suppose, because he certainly had his hands full with keeping the Turks out, and as for his notorious cruelty it seems to have worked. When one Sultan was advancing into the region and was confronted by the sight of an entire pre A serious biography that took a decade to write. I was interested in all the ins-and-outs of Balkan power politics at the time. In Romania, Dracula is regarded as a national hero, with monuments abounding, and they resent the idea that he was a vampire. They're right, I suppose, because he certainly had his hands full with keeping the Turks out, and as for his notorious cruelty it seems to have worked. When one Sultan was advancing into the region and was confronted by the sight of an entire previous army of twenty thousand men impaled on stakes, like a forest of corpses, he simply turned about and went home.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Louise Carlson Stowell

    Very informative. I would suggest any of Florescu's books to someone searching for real historian information on Vlad Dracul. He was a very interesting historical figure and very important to understanding some of the political wars that occurred at that time between Transylvania and the Ottoman Empire. Vlad Dracul is considered today a hero of the Hungarian people. Very different from the way the Western world sees him as being the blood drinking shape shifter of Hammer and Universal Pictures f Very informative. I would suggest any of Florescu's books to someone searching for real historian information on Vlad Dracul. He was a very interesting historical figure and very important to understanding some of the political wars that occurred at that time between Transylvania and the Ottoman Empire. Vlad Dracul is considered today a hero of the Hungarian people. Very different from the way the Western world sees him as being the blood drinking shape shifter of Hammer and Universal Pictures fame.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hamann

    The story of Vlad the Impaler is like none other, and this insightful biography provides a very detailed and in-depth look at his life, his actions, and his legacy. I loved that it talked about his influence on media today and the impact that the "Dracula" myth has had on society. The only drawback of this book is that is just.... so much information, that it can be kind of a lot to take on. The story of Vlad the Impaler is like none other, and this insightful biography provides a very detailed and in-depth look at his life, his actions, and his legacy. I loved that it talked about his influence on media today and the impact that the "Dracula" myth has had on society. The only drawback of this book is that is just.... so much information, that it can be kind of a lot to take on.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tim Finn

    More fascinating reading about the "legendary" Count/Vlad Tepes. More fascinating reading about the "legendary" Count/Vlad Tepes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Altizer

    Very interesting so far and full of unknown knowledge to me

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathia Iblis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Figueroa

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Gannon

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Macdonald

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 4 out of 5

    Haifa Albelaihid

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Roman

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rsbolling

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  23. 5 out of 5

    M. C. Bolton

  24. 4 out of 5

    luk

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 5 out of 5

    Javier Sly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy 6+

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Foster

  29. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert

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