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[[File: Dracula 2.jpg|200px|thumb|left|A portrait of Vlad the Impaler]]
Stoker (1847-1912) was not the first to write about vampires. Polidori and Sheridan Le Fanu previously wrote about Vampires and these tales are considered to be masterpieces of the genre. Stoker’s, character was different, and the vampire is as a very ambiguous and even human figure, unlike the traditional depictions of the beings as simply hideous and monstrous, beings. In the Irishman’s work, Count Dracula’s early years are only briefly discussed. It appears that he was a member of the landed nobility and belonged to the Selkyer ethnic group, who are kin to the Hungarians. The native land of the Count is described as the land beyond the forest, this is an old term to refer to the region of Transylvania in modern Romania. Count Dracula we are told was an outstanding figure in his times. He was a leader of his people and was also a great knight. The Count was very brave in the defense of his homeland against the Ottoman Turks, who constantly attacked his people. In Stoker’s novel, Dracula was a great warrior and knight who fearlessly fought the Muslim Turks and helped to maintain the freedom of his native land and people. The character is shown to be possessed of great intellect and a ferocious curiosity <ref> Bram Stoker Dracula edited by Nina Auerbach and David J. Skal (London, Norton, 1997)</ref>. There was no science or art that he did not study. However, like Faust, he grew dissatisfied with science and reason and began to study the dark arts and in particular alchemy and black magic. Stoker has his character studying magic and alchemy in an academy in the Carpathian Mountains in his native Transylvania. Despite this Dracula is a very respected figure who falls in love and marries. When his wife commits suicide because of a false report of his death,
Dracula is distraught <ref>Stoker, p 24</ref>. The local Orthodox priests refuse to bury his wife, because suicide is a mortal sin, and told him that she would never see Heaven. The Count is outraged and renounces his Christianity and turns to the dark side. In his anger, he commits various acts of sacrilege. When he wounds some religious figures’, he drinks their blood and at this point, he becomes a vampire. Stoker shows the Count as voluntarily becoming a vampire. Later he dies and is entombed but leaves his burial place every night and continues to live in his castle, attended by three female bloodsuckers. Stoker portrays the Count as having a series of supernatural powers and these include the ability to become invisible and to turn those he bit also into vampires <ref> Stoker, p 117</ref>. Moreover, he is described as the leaders of the undead and those who drank the blood of the living. Stoker shows Dracula to be hundreds of years old, but he appears to be young and even attractive. This was because the blood of his many victims allowed him to stay young. In the Irishman’s novel, the character is shown traveling to England as part of his attempt to dominate the world. He is thwarted and later killed. Many of the characteristics of the Count were added by later writers and filmmakers. However, every representation of Dracula has been decisively influenced by the Dubliner’s novel.
[[File: Dracula 4.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Bela Lugosi as Dracula c 1939]]