I've been reading Dracula, having not ever managed to read the whole thing and hoping to achieve that goal now that I'm older and not bored by the opening travelogue. So far, i enjoy the book much more than my 7th grade self did. But a passage in the book has me confused. Early on in the story, Dracula is speaking with Jonathan Harker about his heritage and family, and it's obvious that he is very, very proud of their accomplishments (this was probably either an early hint to people as to the Count's true species, or the establishing point for all vampires having an iron streak of vanity). But something he says doesn't sit right with the stories I've read. The bold parts are bold because they're important to my question:
Anyone who knows their Romanian history knows exactly who Dracula is talking about here. And yet he talks about him like that's his personal idol, not as if it were himself. That got me thinking; what if Count Dracula and Vlad the Impaler AREN'T the same person after all? What if he is simply descended from the violent, bloodthirsty Romanian national hero?"Who more gladly than we throughout the Four Nations received the 'bloody sword', or at its warlike call flocked quicker to the standard of the King? When was redeemed that great shame of my nation, the shame of Cassova, when the flags of the Wallach and the Magyar went down beneath the Crescent, who was it but one o my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! Woe was it that his own unworthy brother, when he had fallen, sold his people to the Turk and brought the shame of slavery upon them! Was it not this Dracula, indeed, who inspired that other of his race who in a later age again and again brought his forces over the great river into Turkey-land; who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, and again, though he had to come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph! They say he only thought of himself. Bah! what good are peasants without a leader?"
Of course, this is all just the beginning of the book. And given that researchers often doubt that Dracula and Vlad Dracul are one and the same, this could all be a very silly topic. Nonetheless, I'd lik to know your opinions, as well as any opinions you have of Dracula.