Dracula was first published on May 26, 1897 by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula.
Original titles for the book include The Dead Un-Dead and then simply, The Un-Dead. The name of the count was originally “Count Wampyr”. While doing research, Stoker became intrigued by the name “Dracula”, after reading William Wilkinson‘s book Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them. The name Dracula was the family name of the descendants of Vlad II of Wallachia, who took the name “Dracul” after being invested in the Order of the Dragon in 1431. In the Romanian language, the word dracul can mean either “the dragon” or, in the present day, “the devil”.
A small section of the book was removed from the original final chapter, in which Dracula’s castle falls apart as he dies, hiding the fact that vampires were ever there. The excerpt reads:
“As we looked there came a terrible convulsion of the earth so that we seemed to rock to and fro and fell to our knees. At the same moment with a roar which seemed to shake the very heavens the whole castle and the rock and even the hill on which it stood seemed to rise into the air and scatter in fragments while a mighty cloud of black and yellow smoke volume on volume in rolling grandeur was shot upwards with inconceivable rapidity.
Then there was a stillness in nature as the echoes of that thunderous report seemed to come as with the hollow boom of a thunder-clap – the long reverberating roll which seems as though the floors of heaven shook. Then down in a mighty ruin falling whence they rose came the fragments that had been tossed skywards in the cataclysm.
From where we stood it seemed as though the one fierce volcano burst had satisfied the need of nature and that the castle and the structure of the hill had sunk again into the void. We were so appalled with the suddenness and the grandeur that we forgot to think of ourselves.”