Did Bram Stoker base his Dracula upon the historical Dracula?

Although it is widely assumed, even among scholars, that Bram Stoker based his novel upon the historical figure of Vlad Tepes, there is at least one prominent scholar who challenges this assumption. Her name is Elizabeth Miller, a professor with the Department of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her primary argument is that Bram Stoker kept meticulous notes of his references in creating Dracula, and none of the references contain specific information about the life and/or atrocities of Vlad Tepes.

There is fairly strong evidence the two Draculas are connected. Arguments in favor of this position include the following:

The fictional Dracula and the historical Dracula share the same name. There can be no doubt that Bram Stoker based his character upon some reference to Vlad Dracula.
Stoker researched various sources prior to writing the novel, including the Library at Whitby and literature from the British Museum. It is entirely possible that his readings on Balkan history would have included information about Vlad Tepes.
Stoker was the friend of a Hungarian professor from Budapest, named Arminius Vambery, who he met personally on several occasions and who may have given him information about the historical Dracula.
Some of the text of Stoker’s novel provides direct correlations between the fictional Dracula and Vlad Tepes (e.g., the fighting off of the Turks--also, the physical description of Dracula in the novel is very similar to the traditional image of Vlad Tepes.).
Other references in the novel may also be related to the historical Dracula. For example, the driving of a stake through the vampire’s heart may be related to Vlad’s use of impalement; Renfield’s fixation with insects and small animals may have found inspiration in Vlad’s penchant for torturing small animals during his period of imprisonment; and Dracula’s loathing of holy objects may relate to Vlad’s renunciation of the Orthodox Church.
Professor Miller counters each of these arguments. In particular she notes the only reference provided by Stoker in his notes that contains any information about Vlad Tepes is a book by William Wilkinson entitled An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (1820), which Stoker borrowed from the Whitby Public Library in 1890 while there on vacation. The book contains a few brief references to a "Voivode Dracula" (never referred to as Vlad) who crossed the Danube and attacked Turkish troops. Also, what seems to have attracted Stoker was a footnote in which Wilkinson states "Dracula in Wallachian language means Devil." Stoker apparently supplemented this with scraps of Romanian history from other sources. Professor Miller argues that The Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia is the only known source for Stoker’s information on the historical Dracula, and that everything else is mere speculation.

As far as Stoker’s acquaintance with the Hungarian professor Vambrey, Miller notes that the record only documents two meetings between the two individuals, and there is no evidence that Vambrey ever spoke of Vlad Tepes, vampires or Transylvania during their visits.

As far as any likeness between the historical Vlad Dracula and descriptions provided in the novel, professor Miller notes that it is most likely Stoker drew his description of Count Dracula from earlier villains in Gothic literature, or even from his own employer, Henry Irving.

In conclusion, Miller makes an assumption of her own: In the novel Stoker provides thorough historical detail obtained from his various references. Had he known about the atrocities of Vald Tepes, Miller argues, surely he would have included such information in his novel.
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