Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula By Kurt W. Treptow


Summary Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula

I enjoyed this book. It was very informative on the economic and political variables affecting the region during Vlad's time. I was not familiar with a lot of the clashes between Orthodoxy and Catholicism and Islam in the region and how often sides would flip-flop to form another alliance. The turnover of princes in Wallachia itself was astounding. Kurt W. Treptow Vlad Dracula's story is told in such a way, that even those who don't have much understanding of history can follow it. The author goes back to the deeds of his grandfather to show how Vlad came to be, in order to help the listener/reader understand his life and actions better. This historical figure has been misunderstood for hundreds of years, especially starting with the 19th century when the fictional novel Dracula was published.

I highly recommend it to those who want to learn the difference between Vlad III and the fictional Dracula. He was not a vampire, but he's no less fascinating. Kurt W. Treptow Several challenges for this book.

The main character is a giant of fiction, and this book doesn't really discuss this. It is more about his struggle as lord of Wallachia against the Ottomans. I happen to like medieval history so this isn't a problem for me, but it is surprising.

Unfortunately I find the history too simplified and lacking in the detail required.

The regions of Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldova are not well known to me, and the book doesn't go to great lengths to explain the size or disposition of the geography. What sort of populations are we dealing with? What scale?

The battles are not elaborated on they just happen and have victors and losers.

For a biography of an infamous historical character, I don't really know more about him as a man or his deeds. Kurt W. Treptow While this book denigrates certain findings from the book, Dracula, Prince of Many Faces, by Radu R. Florescu and Raymond T. Mcnally, it wasn't nearly as satisfying to read as the latter. Where as the Prince of Many Faces had the authors traveling across Romania, discovering or researching important aspects of Dracula's life, Vlad III Dracula lacks that adventurous quality. In fact it isn't adventurous at all, in how the author comes to his conclusions, or refuses to do so. It's as if Treptow patently refuses to infer anything about the motives or personality of Vlad the Impaler, and has sworn to only stick to the facts.
One section that I did appreciate was the chart of the change in local officials from the beginning of Vlad's reign, toward the his heyday -- which gave insights into how many people were loyal and how they were repaid by the Prince, by keeping their positions or climbing up. There were many conclusions which were echoed in Prince of Many Faces and in other essays that I had studied on Vlad the Impaler, so for me, this book wasn't earth shattering. That is useful too, as it validates the other works -- good to know.
As an odd contrast, the fantastical, highly detailed (I used my magnifying glass to really see the fine pen work) drawings by Octavian Jon Penda lend the book a mythic story, which the text lacks. If only the author took it upon himself to give the writing a bit more color, to match the art. Kurt W. Treptow Dry as dirt and felt more like an overview than a proper biography. Kurt W. Treptow

The fifteenth century Romanian Prince Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, is one of the most fascinating personalities of medieval history. Even within this figure's own lifetime, his true story became obscured by a veil of myths. Vlad has been depicted as a national and Christian hero who bravely fought to defend his native land and all of Europe against the invading Turkish infidels. However, he has also been portrayed as a bloody tyrant -- whose reputation slowly transformed through the ages into the fictional vampire created by Bram Stoker at the end of the nineteenth century. Even in the twentieth century, the true history of Dracula has been obscured by communist and nationalist historiography. This book presents the life and times of this fascinating personality of medieval Europe. The author uses all extant Romanian, Turkish, Russian and German sources to reconstruct the history of this famous Prince who, despite his short reign, created a name for himself in the Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula

Having written my own novel which fused in the life and times of the historical Dracula, I was very excited to learn of this latest from Romanian researcher and member of The Center for Romanian Studies, Kurt W. Treptow. What makes this book most interesting and fascinating is that it is written from a perspective of presenting Vlad III Dracula as a brave prince and capable leader as opposed to a bloodthirsty tyrant and an evil vampire. The author explores the political and religious agendas from the period and how Dracula faced these realities. The book delves into Vlad's decision making and motivations which drove him to action. Treptow's claims are backed by plenty of historical evidence, including letters, legal documents and stories that survive today. If I have any criticism to add it would be that the manner in which it is written often made me think of the encyclopedias I used to have to read to do book reports in school. Kurt W. Treptow I say this with absolutely no shade on the book itself, but this one missed me. While it is thoroughly researched, the writing is more academic than I was hoping for in a quick October-read biography of the real Dracula.
Almost reading like a reference book, Treptow tells us the story of a leader often mistreated by legend, mistreated by critics, and overinflated by fans. Vlad III Dracula was a man attempting to hold power, expand his interests, and continue the lifestyle in his lands while walking a thorny political tightrope between volatile neighbors.
I will say the book is not salacious and while it mentions, matter-of-factly, the barbaric practices that inspired Bram Stoker's vampire vision, it doesn't overly dwell on them either. I think this might be an opportunity for some growth on my part as I realized that maybe I was looking for something more trashy and salacious.
But, if you are looking for a thorough exploration of the complex politics surrounding Vlad III Dracula's multiple times on the throne, the book delivers a competent and short biography. It also has several interesting appendices. Kurt W. Treptow Disappointing read. I had wanted the book to refer more towards Prince Vlad the person. His personality, character traits, personal life, etc. There should be plenty of that to write about as there are definitely some pretty ridiculous stories out there about this man.
Unfortunately, the book dealt more with Prince Vlad the prince, leader, warrior, etc. Much of the writing just involved too much politics for me.
The best part about this book was in the final appendix when you get a glimpse into the mind of this violent madman. Kurt W. Treptow all reviews in one place:
night mode reading ;
skaitom nakties rezimu

About the Book: As the title implies, the book encompasses the life of Vlad Dracula. How he came to be known as Lord Impaler. What was life back then, and what was the economic, and political climate during the war. What impact did religion have on the nation and its ruler. And many other tidbits of the Son of the Dragon.

My Opinion: A pretty fine read, defining Vlad Dracula as the prince, the warlord, and what traits of his, what behaviors, have inspired the vampire rumors even before Stoker did his thing. The one firm con of the book is that it’s really not an easy one to read. Dry, a bit hard to follow at times. Kurt W. Treptow I read this book ages ago and just pulled it off my shelf for research today to find that I've never reviewed it on here. Talk about an oversight. This is a brilliant and comprehensive look at the man and the myth of Dracula. Beautiful illustrations—if morbid art is your thing, as well as detailed information about Vlad's childhood, family, and notorious war crimes. Great read for history buffs, horror fans, and anyone interested in a nuanced look at one of Romania's most iconic citizens. Kurt W. Treptow