Dracula Was Irish!

Guttersnipe

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For the longest time, we were told that Stoker's vampire was based on the historical figure Vlad the Impaler. However, after doing some research, I've discovered a more plausible theory. In Irish Gaelic, "tainted blood" is dreach-fhoula (pronounced drac-ula). It is thought to refer to a blood feud. What's more, there's a castle in County Kerry called Dún Dreach-Fhoula. The superstitious believe that bloodsucking fairies live there. There is also a legend of a blood-drinking undead dwarf named Abhartach (aver-tack) who had to be buried upside-down after being killed a third time. The more you know! Now picture the vampire speaking with a thick brogue. :LOL:

 
Well, except that Vlad the Impaler really was historically called Dracula, as early as the 16th century. And it IS set in Transylvania, etc etc.
 
It’s pretty well accepted over here that Dracula has Irish mythology mixed within it: Bram Stoker was Irish and it showed in some of the stuff he mixed in. One of those where you just assumed everyone knew that. (Also you mean Ireland isn’t the centre of the universe...?!)
 
It’s pretty well accepted over here that Dracula has Irish mythology mixed within it: Bram Stoker was Irish and it showed in some of the stuff he mixed in. One of those where you just assumed everyone knew that. (Also you mean Ireland isn’t the centre of the universe...?!)
No the centre of the universe is across the sea, Scotland ;)
 
It’s pretty well accepted over here that Dracula has Irish mythology mixed within it: Bram Stoker was Irish and it showed in some of the stuff he mixed in. One of those where you just assumed everyone knew that. (Also you mean Ireland isn’t the centre of the universe...?!)
I was responding to the notion of "a more plausible theory." Which implies that it's not this, it's that. I'm sure there may be *some* Irish influence, but on the face of it, the historical/legendary model is pretty clear.
 
Also you mean Ireland isn’t the centre of the universe...?!
No. Scotland is. :p

I always knew that Dracula had a fair bit of Irish mythological themes. And, to put our own slant on it, part of Dracula's castle is very similar in description to Slains Castle, near Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, where Stoker visited on more than one occasion. He was interested in Celtic folklore, as shown in some of his other work - The Lair of the White Worm has a few themes in it.

BTW, 'ch' is an aspirated h, not a hard c or k. Same as loch, or the h in Bahrain, to paraphrase Iain Banks.
Sorry (I got this drummed into me at school). ;)

Damn it, nixie got in first.
 
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For the longest time, we were told that Stoker's vampire was based on the historical figure Vlad the Impaler. However, after doing some research, I've discovered a more plausible theory. In Irish Gaelic, "tainted blood" is dreach-fhoula (pronounced drac-ula). It is thought to refer to a blood feud. What's more, there's a castle in County Kerry called Dún Dreach-Fhoula. The superstitious believe that bloodsucking fairies live there. There is also a legend of a blood-drinking undead dwarf named Abhartach (aver-tack) who had to be buried upside-down after being killed a third time. The more you know! Now picture the vampire speaking with a thick brogue. :LOL:


Or maybe he came across one, discovered the other while doing research, and combined the two... question is, which did he come across first?

So I would not say theory is "more plausible". I always knew Dracula had both Romanian and Irish influences.
 
Well, except that Vlad the Impaler really was historically called Dracula, as early as the 16th century. And it IS set in Transylvania, etc etc.
Yeah, I didn't literally mean the character was Irish. I still say it's more inspired by Celtic folklore with Romanian thrown in, rather than the other way around. Also, Vlad was Wallachian.
 
Idk, I read it in high school and the only Irish thing mentioned was the author's nationality. So I'm actually surprised that so many people already knew about the Gaelic influence.
 
I was responding to the notion of "a more plausible theory." Which implies that it's not this, it's that. I'm sure there may be *some* Irish influence, but on the face of it, the historical/legendary model is pretty clear.

There is no evidence of Stoker referencing Vlad in his notes whereas he had extensive knowledge of an Irish legend that links to the vampire tradition:Abhartach. Dracula, as noted, is a close translation of an Irish word.

I’m not denying Vlad was known as Dracula first, or that Stoker mightn’t have utilised that, but there are clearly Irish elements in the book if you know where to look (which he did - his mother wrote a lot around Irish history and he was very familiar with the area linked to the myth above)

@Guttersnipe _ the Irish are obsessed with their literary traditions. You wouldn’t believe how much we are surrounded by it. This sort of thing is thrashed out in pubs for hours, alongside the football and other craic.
 
Yeah, I didn't literally mean the character was Irish. I still say it's more inspired by Celtic folklore with Romanian thrown in, rather than the other way around. Also, Vlad was Wallachian.
Yes, but the transition from (mainly) Wallachian (he did spend some time in Transylvania, I think, as an exile) to fully Transylvanian was made in the 16th-17th century German-language lore about him, and that would be the story Stoker learned. And I think in that literature he's mainly known as Dracula. Stoker didn't directly reference the historical Vlad the Impaler, but the Dracula legend.
 
Yes, but the transition from (mainly) Wallachian (he did spend some time in Transylvania, I think, as an exile) to fully Transylvanian was made in the 16th-17th century German-language lore about him, and that would be the story Stoker learned. And I think in that literature he's mainly known as Dracula. Stoker didn't directly reference the historical Vlad the Impaler, but the Dracula legend.
I actually didn't know about that; I thought the Dracula = vampire idea came directly from Stoker. Thanks for enlightening me.
 
The young Bram Stoker started his writing career as a theatre critic on the Dublin Evening Mail . The owner was a strange and interesting Irishman named Sheridan Le Fanu . He was one of the leading writers of the nineteenth century . He wrote horror stories , ghost stories and the very popular gothic tales . A number of his stories had vampires in them , but the most controversial was Carmilla . Published in 1872 , and is about a vampires love for a normal mortal girl . The vampire was female, so a vampire lesbian love story in Victorian Dublin , is why it was controversial.
Bram Stoker stands out more now than he did in his own time . A gothic horror story involving vampires was not that original in victorian London . It is just that all the other stories have fallen into oblivion, but he has survived. There can be no doubt that Stoker based his story on Carmilla , but as writers do , he added his own embellishments.
 
Carmilla is actually reprinted fairly often, and it was made into at least one movie—which played up the lesbian angle a lot more than Le Fanu did. Of course Le Fanu couldn't have been that explicit at the time it was written. I'm not sure that the story is about "love." Carmilla seems to be incapable of it, and her victims (multiple, not just the one) act like they are under some sort of spell.
 
Surely Dracula was a Yorkshireman! It is, after all, in Whitby where he was 'born' (in a literary sense) and Yorkshire is, of course, the true centre of the universe ;)


Edit
Even the New York Times agrees!
 
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