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

Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times

Radu R. Florescu. Little Brown and Company, $28 (300pp) ISBN 978-0-316-28655-8

The fictional Dracula of Bram Stoker's novel is better known than the actual Vlad Dracula the Impaler, who ruled as prince of Wallachia for three brief periods in the mid-15th century. This study by two Boston College professors who have written other books about Dracula explores how the legend of the Transylvanian vampire arose. As a ruler, Dracula spread terror far and wide, inflicting appalling tortures on his victims, killing them by impalement, by boiling or skinning them alive. Yet when the time came to defend Europe against Turkish invaders, he led the battle, and the authors view him as ``the first modern Renaissance prince of the land.'' Florescu and McNally offer so much detail about the battles of kings, princes, princelings and claimants to thrones that the book will appeal only to the most ardent Dracula fanatics. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Oct.)