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

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,235 ratings  ·  110 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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Dean Morgan
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

- - -

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!
Shane O'Neill
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting read for those who are curious about the true story behind the legend of Dracula. The authors are a little biased toward their subject but do a good job of showing how the different views of this historical figure originated.
Steve Asher
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love how the writer really digs into the man behind the legend. Rich storytelling and a fantastic way of writing, highly suggest this book!
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive and captivating! I know I'll keep coming back to it for years
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
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
The Badger
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
This biography reads like a car manual. It's very dry and completely glosses over the fact that Dracula was a sadistic tyrant. His war crimes are mentioned as one would make small-talk. "Did you hear that Dracula impaled 10,000 villagers just yesterday? And, BTW, that hat really suits you."

Also, Dracula's early life in the sultan's court is barely mentioned at all. This is puzzling because most historians attribute Dracula's torture techniques and loss of empathy to his teachings at the Sultan's
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have any interest in this man ... this is a fabulous book to read... none of that Hollywood crap ... his life was quite incredible
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces is the third and final research volume of three research books regarding the life of Vlad III Dracula, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia, and notably the most famous historical Romanian figure outside Romania. What lacked from the previous two books, Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally covered it by adding few substantial informations. The rest are not that any different from their previous books. Drawing from foreign diplomatic correspondences such as Feodor Va ...more
Lynsey Walker
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's going to be very hard to review a non-fiction, basically text book, book; but I will try.

It was very much like a text book and a boring one at that. This is the kind of book only die hard students of Vlad Dracula should pick up as it is VERY full on with it's details, and there's only so many dates of who did this and who died then that one person can process in one go.

I like to think of myself as very well versed in the history of said Mr Dracula, and I did know most of the import facts th
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
My personal interest in Dracula is rooted in his place in the dwindling Crusades and post-fall of Constantinople, and this book was absolutely perfect in situating him in that context. I really appreciated the academic, carefully researched approach of this book, examining the various biases that have emerged in historical viewpoints of Dracula and also the background of Stoker's writing and research. It does, however, at times feel like it has been written by academics and misses that writerly ...more
Rhonda Long
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Prince Vlad Dracula has always been a source of curiosity for me. He was a warrior and a madman who impaled tens of thousands of people for reasons that he only knew. He was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and I have to say that it is easy to see how this man in real life could be seen as the ultimate evil. He would live and die at a time of Islamic invasions of the Baltic and European states. His life and death is a source of many legends and I am sure that some of the fear people fel ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-europe
Florescue and McNally have written a a biography about Vlad the Impaler that is interesting, rich in detail, even-handed and circumspect. The book does a wonderful job of weaving together Dracula's personal life and ambitions with the cultural, social, political and military realities of the time. The authors also manage to separate fact from speculation without ruining the flow of the narrative. They were also at pains to separate the myth from the man. The book also examines Bram Stoker's Drac ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it

I found the book fascinating overall, but you can tell it's an older history book by the writing style. There is very little narrative and the book becomes rote at times with the many dates and names. It was a good supplemental read after finishing the Conqueror's Saga. Probably not best for most modern lay history readers, but a good read for fans of obscure European history. I didn't read the Bram Stoker parts- I just wanted to know about the historical Vlad the Impaler.
Decent general history on the historical "Dracula" and the later political interpretations of his life (painting him as a psychopath, traitor, crusader, or Romanian patriot) as well as the evolution of the vampire novel up to Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Haven’t quite finished this book yet... but it’s a library book and I can’t bring it abroad so uh... so long for now, I guess. What I’ve had the chance to read so far was very informative and kept me intrigued. Vlad this Impaled was a strange fellow.
who is independent, isnt loved by majority. And he was...did what was necessary for surviving, as he saw it experiences. people created gun..and were surpriced, gun is killing them. it was raw time...but more real then our time.
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly engrossing - especially after reading ‘Vlad: The Last Confession’ by C.C. Humphreys.

I constantly found myself doing quick Wikipedia searches of other people mentioned throughout the book and looking up the locations in Google Maps.

So interesting, it basically reads like fiction.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and all encompassing look at the historical figure and the literary one. You’ll learn pretty much as much as possible about this fascinating character from the past. I wish there were more photos but that’s a minor gripe.
Ramakrishnan M
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
good to know the real character behind all the legends and horror stories.

this is a non fiction historical narration of who exactly vlad tepes or vlad the impaler or Dracula was
Eppu B.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many, many times. The book reveals man behind the Hollywood-mask; neither hero, nut neither pure monster.
Stacy Croushorn
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Very dry reading, but all history, no non-fiction.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Amazing book. It took me about a month to finish its 240 pages, but thats because am a slow reader. The details are very captivating and it feels all so realistic.
John Corley
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read on the real Dracula.
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paced reading hor...: dracula prince of many faces 12 18 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.

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