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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The historical Dracula
Florescu is a historian descended from one of Dracula's aristocratic victims. He has done a great deal of research on the subject and has produced the most readable of Vlad III's biographies. The book includes translations of several contemporary documents and an extensive bibliography. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history, literature (Bram Stoker,...
Published on 2 Mar 2001 by rene@centroweb.net

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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent attempt, but there are better
Florescu and McNally have done a decent job of telling the sotry of Vlad Tepes, or Vlad Dracula, in this book. Unfortunately, in order to get at it, you have to wade through some poor writing. In addition to poor prose, the authors seem content with providing only a storyline. They do not delve too deeply into context, which is essential to gaining a good understanding...
Published on 24 Oct 2002 by J. Kelly


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The historical Dracula, 2 Mar 2001
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This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
Florescu is a historian descended from one of Dracula's aristocratic victims. He has done a great deal of research on the subject and has produced the most readable of Vlad III's biographies. The book includes translations of several contemporary documents and an extensive bibliography. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history, literature (Bram Stoker, Dracula), movies (Nosferatu) and folklore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Dec 2011
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
I love this book; the authors (who are university professors I believe) are experts in this subject. It's well written, very detailed, massively researched but very easy and entertaining to read. i've read it a few times, it's got a great bibliography for further research. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, well written and engaging, 13 May 2011
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A. Nethersole (Essex,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
This book is without doubt the best book on the topic, and I bought this copy to replace an older one I've had for many years. The mixture of local historian Radu Florescu (already an established and engaging author) with the western voice of Raymond McNally makes the book an enjoyable and balanced read with a good mix of facts and approaches. The writers manage to broach the entire complex history of Vlad Dracula's family and the lands into which it is born in a way that appeals to various interests. I read the book almost 15 years ago and it is by far still the widest historival book I remember and find most accesable.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appraisal, 24 Nov 2003
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This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
For many years I have been a fan of horror and stumbled across this book quite by accident.
Since having read Dracula, Prince Of Many Faces I have gone on to read other works by the same authors, on this legendary ruler and find the subject fascinating.
His life, times and personality springs off the page in thrilling detail that never becomes tedious or boring.
I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in history or horror to read this book. The only frustration readers are likely to have is when others around them make the same old comment of "Dracula was a vampire count wasn't he?", the urge to put people right is irresistable!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's nice to put a face to the legend, 17 July 2014
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Amazonian (Macclesfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
I have been searching for a book on Vlad the Impaler for some time, and most seem to be based in fiction or are very short, this book however is a very detailed account of the real Dracula.
This is a relatively short book, but is enough at around 240 pages, you get a detailed account of Vlads parentage, in that of Dracul. The authors explain very well how he got into power, not once not twice but three times during his lifetime. The authors also go into explaining the political and geopolitical circumstances at the time of the Impaler, and the struggle against the Turks.
The authors also attempt to look into the mind of Vlad and see his intentions in his actions and give a great account of the many atrocities that the man inflicted, to the forest of the impaled that scared away even the sultan, to boiling a gypsy alive in a cauldron and forcing his tribe to eat him.
The authors touch on the fictional side of Dracula, the stories and legends that encircle him, such as the mysterious disappearance of his body in his grave and the curse of Dracula at Castle Dracula. And also tells us about Bram Stokers novel and the inspiration he got from the Impaler to create his notorious blood sucker in the night.
If someone were to ask me to recommend them a book that just wanted the details about Vlad the Impaler and wanted to just know about him, then I would recommend them this book. I am not a historian in any sense and have not read much into Vlad beforehand, but I found this book very interesting and a very good account of history. I would have also read Bram Stokers Dracula beforehand so the last couple of chapters are not wasted on you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a recommended read for those truly interested in his life and ..., 23 July 2014
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
An interesting story spoiled slightly by the very academic and unengaging writing style of the authors. There's a lot of padding involving stories of other characters of the time, which I suppose was necessary as so little really is known about Vlad (compared to his English contemporaries at least). Still, a recommended read for those truly interested in his life and times, and actually rather sympathetically written.

If you've read The Historian and want to know more about Vlad as a result this book is worth reading. You'll actually recognise many of the facts about him, and his enemies, that you will have already read in The Historian.

Worth a read if medieval history is your 'thing'; not so much if your passion is vampires! :)
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent attempt, but there are better, 24 Oct 2002
By 
J. Kelly - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
Florescu and McNally have done a decent job of telling the sotry of Vlad Tepes, or Vlad Dracula, in this book. Unfortunately, in order to get at it, you have to wade through some poor writing. In addition to poor prose, the authors seem content with providing only a storyline. They do not delve too deeply into context, which is essential to gaining a good understanding of why Vlad III Dracula rose to and fell from power so many times.
In my research, there were better accounts of Vlad's life. The best, however, is almost £30, so this is a good start for the beginner, but definitely not the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dracula: a biography well worth buying, 30 July 2014
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
This is admittedly the only real dedicated biography of Dracula I have read, so I am not well placed to comment on it compared to other available biographies. However, as a standalone, it is a very worthwhile investment indeed. This covers Dracula and the world he lived in, which is very necessary to understand the world-view he held. This is essential to highlight both the differences and the similarites between Dracula and his contemporary east-European 'defenders of Christianity'. All in all, very worth it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vladdy Hell, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
There are so many books out there on the history of the real Vlad Dracula, one inspiration for Bram Stoker's vampire of the same name, that at first browse it's difficult to know which of them will give the best and most accurate summary without one resorting to either overly expensive and/or overly academic tomes.

I think in Florescu and McNally's "Dracula, Prince Of Many Faces: His Life And His Times" hits the spot pretty well for an accessible all-rounder.

Florescu's knowledge of Romania ancient and modern help immensely. There's a helpful introduction to terminology and the key character's names in a variety of the main languages used, helpful in understanding the fact, the fiction, the meaning of important words and phrases, locations, and the context of the time. The Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor, the Hungarian Empire, Poland, the countries of Transylvania and Wallachia, the fading Byzantine Empire and the Turkish Empire feature as the political backdrop, and Roman Catholicism, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam the religions vying for power.

The authors first follow Bram Stoker's famous fictional pieces (Dracula: Complete, Original Text and Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales ) and points out where the stories digress geographically and factually, and then introduce the late Mediaeval setting and Vlad Dracula's family history.

From his upbringing with the Turks to his Princedom of Wallachia, his crusades, his apparently endless changing of sides in wars, his obsession with impaling his enemies (and occasionally his guests) which earned him the name Tepes ("Impaler"), Vlad's complex life of being in and out of favour and his change in allegiances to political leaders (and even in the end religions), remains confusing.

Getting to the root of Dracula's behaviour is more complex. There are a variety of factors that could have contributed to his sadism; most of these are touched on in the book, from the lack of family unit in high-born Mediaeval families across the western world that have seen the horrendous inter-family feuding and inter-family betrayal across our early history of royalty, and the expendibility of life in time of war and plague. Unmentioned are other theories; that Vlad Dracula and his brother were raped by the Turks as child hostages which gave rise to Vlad's penchant for impaling Turks. But Florescu and McNally maintain that Dracula was probably treated very well by the Turks, being trained and educated by them.

The authors also slip into the role of apologetics on occasion. Dracula is still regarded as a Wallachian hero in the lands of his birth,and whether his sadistic practises of testing visitors with trick questions (wrong answer = impaled) or nailing visitors' hats to their heads for not doffing them is a product of psychopathic sadism or merely a product of Dracula's time and situation is arguable.

Either way, the story of Vlad Dracula Tepes, son of Vlad Dracul "The Dragon" of Wallachia is a fascinating and engrossing history, and is just as horrific and bloodthirsty as any vampire story - more so of course, because it's real.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat hard going. For history buffs only, 13 Sep 2004
This review is from: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times (Paperback)
Casual fans of the legendary Bram Stoker villain beware - there will likely be very little to appeal to you.
What we instead have here is a rather dry history of the 'real Dracula' ie the Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler, and his often gruesome history in the 1400s.
For those looking beyond the blood sucker in the black cape there is much here of interest. Dracula's life was an interesting and, of course, bloody one. Considered, in differing circles, to be a champion of the Christian world, or a devil in human form, the most interesting sections consist of the cruel and unusual punishments meted out by Dracula, sometimes for next to no reason.
Tales are related of how he nailed skull caps to the heads of visiting Italians who did not doff their headwear in his presence, the mutilation of unchaste women and the fascinating tale of how he allowed a monk to condemn him to damnation before personally impaling him.
It was an unbelievable world back then and this sheds valuable light on one of history's darkest characters without ever being particularly enjoyable reading.
What is most interesting is the reverie in which Dracula is still held in back in his homeland. Here he is considered a hero who saved the nation from Muslim enslavement in ages past. In short, his real history is a million miles from that which Stoker created, although there is a fascinating chapter which points out the accuracies in Stoker's novel.
For those seeking the true Dracula, this is a decent read at a good price, but it will not appeal to the casual vampire fan.
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Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times by Raymond T. McNally (Paperback - 1 Dec 2005)
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