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Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  774 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces reveals the extraordinary life and times of the infamous Vlad Dracula of Romania (1431 - 1476), nicknamed the Impaler. Dreaded by his enemies, emulated by later rulers like Ivan the Terrible, honored by his countrymen even today, Vlad Dracula was surely one of the most intriguing figures to have stalked the corridors of European and Asian capi ...more
Paperback, 261 pages
Published October 31st 1990 by Back Bay Books (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,471)
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Dean Morgan
I did not just read this book...I studied it. I was so intrigued by the real Vlad the Impaler, that every time I read this book, I sat down with a notebook, and took meticulous notes as to what I was reading. I live high in the rocky mountains, and I recall that one summer's night I sat outside reading this book by candlelight while sipping a cup of red wine (I'm big on creating atmosphere when reading books of this sort). In the distance, a pack of coyotes began to howl at the nearly full moon. ...more
Alice
We will travel to Romania/Transylvania in Oct 2011 and I wanted to read about the real Dracula. I've read lots more 15th century Eastern European history than I was ever exposed to in school. Vlad Dracula was indeed real, an illegitimate son of Vlad Dracul who very much wanted the throne his father had. He succeeded to that throne 3 separate times. The authors did extensive research from the perspective of the Hungarians, Saxons, and Russians that described a man who was considered by his enemie ...more
Suvi
5.11.2014
I wasn't supposed to read this yet, but I got hooked. Mmm, books that I pretend to buy for uni work... And reading those said books while trying to study something completely different.

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6.11.2013
I'm going to be writing an essay soon about vampire films, and how people react in them when confronted with vampires. Do I need to say I love my comparative religion course? Anyway, I bought this pretending I absolutely need this for that essay. I don't. But hey, it's Vlad and it was cheap!
...more
Shane O'Neill
I have read this book over a dozen times over the years. In recent years, I have heard criticisms of some of the accuracy with some content. Yet, I still have used it as a reference many times in my own work, and feel it gave a very good portrayal of the type of man Vlad Dracula was; better than most I have read. I love this book regardless.
Jacob Aitken
Count Dracula is a historical frustration. His life illustrates why it is difficult for historians to make simple moral judgments on time periods they know little about. Even if 90% of the horrific legends about Dracula are false--and they are--he was still a bad man (and I maintain demon-possessed). But it's worse than that: as horrible as he was Dracula singlehandedly kept Europe from being overrun by Muslims. As Florescu notes, "Europe was more interested in political in-fighting that in resi ...more
Michael
Someone NEEDS to make a movie from this book! Vlad Dracula was a very disturbed yet unique individual. His title "Vlad the Impaler" couldn't be more appropriate. This guy had serious mental malfunctions. If you could capture the stages of his life accurately and vividly on the big screen it would be an amazing spectical to see. Especially "the Forest of the Impaled"!!!!! Probably the most horrific (and effective) scare tactic in the history of warfare. Its not hard to see how this guy was the in ...more
Jann
Factual, which I'm sure is hard to come by due to the time lapse since this man lived. During my "vampire" phase (which thanks to the Twilight trilogy has not exactly abated), I picked this up because fact is often more interesting than fiction to me. These authors are really the majority of this field. I picked this out of their books on the subject because it was the only one immediately available. It is fairly straightforward, but I didn't get very far into it. It is really, really dry (and I ...more
Caroline
Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler, aka Vlad Drăcul, aka Vlad Țepeș, is one of those rare historical figures who is better known through his fictional counterpart than historical reality. There's probably scarcely an individual alive who doesn't know something about Count Dracula, the evil vampire of Bram Stoker's Gothic novel; and perhaps a minority of those who realise the fictional villain was based on an actual historical figure; but probably very few who know anything about the real medieval pri ...more
Osie
I wanted to read this book for years, but for some reason it sat on my bookshelf untouched. It is pretty insightful and is a great introductory book for info on the historical Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler. Since it was written in the late 80s it does not have the most current info, but it also doesn’t seem that there has been many advances in the field since then. Some of the references are clearly dated (such as references to the Soviet Union, etc.) which I found a lit ...more
Nanne
I marked this book as to-read about eight or nine years ago during my first year as a history student when I did a paper about Vlad the Impaler. At the time I couldn't get a hand on a copy of this book and didn't need it in the end but I've always wanted to read it.

Now that I've finally gotten around to reading it I must say that I probably would have enjoyed it more all those years ago. 'Dracula, Prince of Many Faces' is a work of narrative history, it tells a story much rather than portray a d
...more
Victoria
While this book, written by two Boston College history professors, has positive reviews on Amazon, I can recommend it only for those with very strong stomachs. It’s a well researched story of the 15th century Romanian leader who ruled Wallachia–not Transylvania, as the Bram Stoker novel would have it. I read it in preparation for a recent visit to Romania (including the medieval castle where the real Dracula was imprisoned for many years), but half-way through decided I knew enough. Too much, in ...more
Brian
Dracula the Prince of Many Faces presents an overview of the history behind Bram Storker’s story of the Real Dracula who lived during the 15th century and was a vanguard of Christian defense in the crusades and a Machiavellian prince in his own right. The authors have done exhaustive research on the origins of the Vlad the Impaler also known as Dracula and how this young prince reclaimed his fathers lands and ushered in an enlightened despotism that made improvements to the populace while terrif ...more
Martin Gibbs
One reviewer has stated that this was one of the scariest books he has ever read, and I would concur with that. For those enjoy all of the legendary (and fictitious) stories of vampires, you are missing something truly evil and scary. This man was real. His actions were brutal, ruthless, and cold.

I enjoy a dark and scary story time and again, but I prefer historical accounts, especially if they are true to the original event. After reading other reviews, I believe this book really does try to st
...more
Derek
This book looks at the man behind the legend of Dracula. The back cover's promise that the historical Dracula is far more interesting than his fictional counterpart is, unlike most back cover proclamations, true.

The authors do a good job of laying out the history of the the Wallachian princes beginning with Dracula's grandfather, Mircea. They have also managed to uncover a reasonable amount of information on Vlad Dracul, Dracula's father who joined a crusading order with a dragon symbol in Germa
...more
Sonanova
This book was very thorough and enjoyable, but I did find a few problems. First, I hate non-fic history authors that make broad interpretations from their sources in an attempt to draw something like a conclusion. History is not about conclusions. Life goes on and historic events are consistantly reinterpreted by those in power, as history *is* power. But to try and lock down how things *actually* were without hard evidence is just silly. Let's not have theory, but fact...although I admit someti ...more
Christina Crites
The first time I read this book was in high school, when I picked it up at the local library because it looked like a fun read. I was right to assume so. I loved it so much that I bought it as soon as I was able and have owned it since, rereading it every few years, or at the very least, looking something up in it which I may have forgotten. The book is well researched, and chalked full of interesting facts. But these are presented in such a way, the the true life story of Vlad Tepes is never du ...more
Julie
This is a thorough look at not only the mysterious life of Vlad Dracula, aka Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler, but also a comprehensive history of 15th century Eastern Europe and the evolution of the Vampire myth. While not much is known about his “personal life,” eye witnesses and oral history have kept accounts of Vlad’s tyrannous reign of the Wallachia region of Romania alive through the ages. Meticulously researched, the authors try to grasp the motivation behind his notorious undertakings i ...more
Tai
Really good and detailed history of the last hold outs against the Ottoman Empire and the final degeneration of the Holy Roman Empire. Explains Vlad Dracula's family history and it's place in the Romanian and Hungarian aristocracy of the time. Fair warning though, he committed wholesale slaughter of a lot of people and you will read the details in this book. Not a nice guy.
Dixie
Book Title: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times
by Radu R Florescu and raymond T. McNally
Read on my Kindle

Looked and looked for a good book of Romanian history while there. Couldn't find one in English that was a price I would pay! After looking for lots of different options, I decided to get this book as Vlad Tepes (1431 - 1476) is held in high esteem by many Romanians despite his bloody deeds. He is the man that Bram Stoker based his book about the Vampire, Dracula on.

This boo
...more
Steve Cran
Definitely an excellent book. Not only give a thorough biography of Valdimir Dracula but it also goes into the family history as well. In addition to providing biographical information the book also delves in ot the various vampire leegends around the world and romanian legeends of other supernatural beings. Brams Stoker researched his material well beefore writing the book Dracula. The original dracula is not a evil man as he is made out to be. Romanians view him as a hero who withstood trukish ...more
Ideath
Re-read this book to refresh my memory before reading The Historian. Unfortunately, i liked it better the first time; i think some conclusions were insufficiently supported, some details too frequently repeated (obviously, they were the ones that stuck in the authors' heads, but the repetition was not helpful). This time around, i cringed at some of the writing -- yes, i know you don't read history for prose style, but hey.

The first time i read it, i remember coming away with a strong desire to
...more
Paddy
A very interesting book that helps to separate the fact from fiction about Dracula. His life was very harsh and brutal rather like his rule, and it is easy to see what brought Vlad Dracula to Stokers attention.. It certainly made him a person of interest in history for many people since Stoker wrote Dracula, which may well have never happened considering he was only 45 when he was killed. My only problem with this book is the spelling and pronunciation of the place names and people in it. It rea ...more
Raine Feiertag
I read it as research for my NaNoWriMo novel. A bit outdated, but I loved it, regardless.
David
It becomes a bit of a slog in the middle, but if you push through there is some really rewarding stuff at the end. In particular, a great chapter on how the story of the historical Dracula has been used and altered over time and a related chapter on the facts and superstitions appropriated by Bram Stoker for his novel, Dracula.

The history itself is fascinating, but perhaps due to the fragmentary nature of the sources available to tell the story it is a bit meandering in places. It may help to ha
...more
B. Reese
This book, and "In Search of Dracula" are fascinating reads.

Discover the man behind the myth. It's even more shocking and monstrous than any vampire would be.
Marc Pressley
Had I not been doing a special personal project over the last couple of years, I might not have read this book. It's very difficult to give a fair portrayal of this book because the subject is at least half mythical (and that's before you consider Bram Stoker's contribution to his reputation). Vlad Tepes is now a figure who lies nebulously between the historical record and pure fiction. Attempting to separate the historical Vlad from the caricature is a daunting task, and the authors probably of ...more
Momma
Good coverage of history, but hard to follow, poorly written.
Mike
The man, the myth, the impaller of all that stood in his way. I am giving this book 5 stars simply to appease the wrath that a lesser review might bring from the undead... actually it is because even though this is nonfiction, it is still the scariest book I have ever read. The real man not only lives up to the stories written about his carnage, but he actually shatters then with his all too real atrocities. This book is morbidly fascinating and well worth the read to anyone even slightly intrig ...more
Michelle
Jun 22, 2007 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historians and Dracula Fans
After reading The Historian for my book club, I wanted to get some "real" history on Dracula. I remembered this book from my Borders days and decided to check it out. I'm glad that I did as it turned out to be very interesting. There is a lot of medieval history and a lot of side stories that are intertwined into the story of Dracula. I thought the authors did a good job of showing the real Dracula. I found him to be a very interesting person in history. I really recommend this book to anyone wh ...more
Doria
An excellent historical monograph, extremely well researched, on the life of a noteworthy late-medieval Romanian ruler - Vlad " The Impaler" Tsepes - who happens to have been given an extraordinary afterlife as one of the world's most beloved (?!) fictional horror characters - Count Dracula. The authors do a thorough job of differentiating and comparing these two separate yet inextricably linked personnages, with a very interesting and informative chapter at the end on the life and research of B ...more
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paced reading hor...: dracula prince of many faces 12 17 Feb 17, 2014 03:01PM  
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Radu Florescu is a Romanian academic who holds the position of Emeritus Professor of History at Boston College. He was Director of the East European Research Center at Boston College, and also a professor of history.
More about Radu Florescu...
Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler 1431-1476 In Search of Frankenstein In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires Essays on Romanian History I Daci

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