Was 'Dracula' Inspired by a CofE Priest? Feb 6, 2016 2:48:08 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Feb 6, 2016 2:48:08 GMT -5
Was Dracula Inspired by a CofE Priest?
If you thought Count Dracula was from Transylvania, then it is time to think again. A new book has claimed the blood-sucking demon was not in fact from Romania – but instead hails from the seaside resort of Devon in England.
Writer Andy Struthers insists that rather than Vlad the Impaler, author Bram Stoker took his inspiration for the famous virgin-killing vampire from a priest based in the West Country. The book claims the Gothic character is actually based on the works of Sabine Baring-Gould (above) of Exeter – who would have much preferred drinking cider to blood. He says Stoker created the character Dracula after reading Baring-Gould's "Lycanthropy: The Study of Werewolves" and a vampire story called "Margery of Quether." He adds that it also explains why in the famous 1897 text, solicitor Jonathan Harker leaves from Exeter's Cathedral Close to make his perilous journey to Transylvania, saying Stoker included the reference as a secret "thank you" to Baring-Gould and acknowledgment that he was inspired by him. The book, Dracula Incarnate: Unearthing the Definitive Dracula, will be released later this year.
Struthers, 49, of Warrington, Cheshire, says: "The book of werewolves and the vampire tale provided Stoker with elements of his story and virtually everything he needed for the creation of his vampire Count, possibly including the voice of his vampire, which was female. Stoker was fond of tipping his hat to friends and acquaintances who had either helped him in researching his novel, or perhaps, even inspired the characters within it's pages," he adds. "Exeter was included in the novel as a way of saying thank you to Baring-Gould, and the masses of material that he had provided the Irish author with."
According to Struthers, Stoker drew heavily on the books by Baring-Gould, born in 1834, who also wrote the famous hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers." He adds: "People will be surprised and sometimes shocked by my findings, as most of what they now hold true will be proven to be false. It's a bit like finding out who Father Christmas really is."
Struthers' findings will be revealed at the World Dracula Congress in Dublin, which will be attended by some of Bram Stoker's descendants.
Source: Sian, Hewitt, The Mirror, February 4, 2016.