|Raymond T. McNally & Radu Florescu, |
In Search of Dracula:
The History of Dracula & Vampires
(Houghton Mifflin, 1994)
If you are interested in Dracula or vampires in general, you should own In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula & Vampires. Originally published a quarter of a century ago and out of print for more than a decade, this book has been revised and updated with archaeological findings, scientific research, more extensive folklore and enormous filmography and bibliography.
Raymond T. McNally became interested in Dracula at an early age. When he discovered there was an actual Count Dracula, he was determined to learn more. He received a fellowship to travel to Romania to research Vlad Tepes and local folklore.
McNally teamed up colleague Radu Florescu, a native Romanian with family ties to Dracula's family. Thus, he was ideal for the project. The duo became international experts in all things Draculian.
Roughly 100 of the 297 pages are devoted to the history of Vlad Tepes. Some of the chapters are "The Historical Dracula: Tyrant from Transylvania," "Prince of Wallachia" and "Crusader Against the Turks."
My favorite chapter in this section is "Snagov: The Mystery of the Empty Grave," which relates how they found the unoccupied grave believed to be Dracula's. They provide several theories and leave you to decide what you will believe.
There is no way to pick a favorite chapter from the rest of the book. There is "Bram Stoker," "Vampirism: Old West Folklore" and a chapter devoted to each of the German, Russian and Romanian stories. The authors cover Dracula in books, plays and movies. They conclude by providing plenty of ways for you to learn more.
The authors have a pleasing writing style and deliver even the most scientific data in a manner that provides pleasurable reading and is easily understood.
It is easy to become engrossed in this book and lose track of time. Once you have enjoyed it as a pleasure read, it will serve as a vital reference of a timeless nature.
If you are a vampire or Dracula fan, you cannot go wrong with In Search of Dracula.
book review by
Alicia Karen Elkins
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