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Wallachia is an ongoing serial vampire novel by David Ely set in 19th-century Romania. New chapters are published every few weeks.

Decades before Dracula, the Principality of Wallachia had its share of problems long before it came to be ruled by a vampire…

Download the app to read or listen for free. Vote in reader polls that directly affect the story in forthcoming chapters.


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The audiobooks are available as a podcast. New chapters air every other Friday. Start with episode one.


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Flowers of Transylvania, a prelude to Wallachia, is included in the app but is also available separately for Kindle and Apple Books. 1741, Transylvania. Corina finds herself a prisoner of Count Dracula. The good news: Dominic, her first love, is a guard in the castle. But can she trust him?


You can follow Wallachia on Twitter @WallachiaNet. You might also lilke @live_dracula, a “live” republication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that runs from the book’s start in May to its end in November.


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Chapter 13: The Mystery of the Blue Flames

Chapter thirteen of Wallachia is out. Get it from the App Store and read it for free.

Marley meets Dracula.


Notes:

  • This immediately follows chapter 12. Still Monday, 19 June (old style).

  • There are several photos of Romanian clothing on this page. Pestelcă is a regional term for what’s more generally called fotă, the wool skirt. Marley being unmarried doesn’t wear a head covering.

  • The bit about Wallachian horses being small comes from William Wilkinson’s An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia:

    The Wallachian breed of horses is of a peculiar kind. Their stature is very small, and they have no spirit; but they are strong, active, and capable of enduring great fatigue. Those of Moldavia differ only in being a little larger in size. Some of the richest people have their horses sent them from Russia and Hungary; but they are merely meant for their coaches, as, from an aversion to every exercise that occasions the least fatigue, hardly any of them ride on horseback.

  • At the time of our story, Wallachia and Moldavia (The Two Principalities) and Transylvania had a small number of European bison left, called the Carpathian wisent (Bison bonasus hungarorum). They were hunted to extinction by 1852 (per Wikipedia). Whether they were actually delicious, I’ll confess I don’t have a source.

    The region also used to have aurochs, a species of giant cattle, which went extinct in the 1620s. Voivode Dragoş of Moldavia is said to have gone on great hunts for aurochs and bison.

  • Dacia’s “c” makes an “sh” sound.


Chapter 14 might be delayed as I work on version 2.0 of the app. I’d like for chapters to come out more frequently—I have the next few plotted pretty well out—but we’ll see how it goes. I appreciate the support and patience.

The Black Vampyre: A Legend of St. Domingo

I watched Blacula for the first time yesterday. I’d always assumed it was a campy C-list movie, but it’s really not. The makeup may look cheesy here and there, but it’s a 70s horror movie. I recommend you give it a shot.

It got me thinking about a short story I read a few years ago, “The Black Vampyre: A Legend of St. Domingo.” From 1819, it’s only the second English-language vampire story ever published. Here’s its Wikipedia page. I read it in Andrew Barger’s excellent collection, The Best Vampire Stories: 1800–1849, but you can also find the whole text here.

15. Wallachia Chapter 9: Rides in the Rain

Chapter 9 of Wallachia: A Penny Dreadful by David Ely. Father Abraham visits a sick farmer.

Chapter thirteen of Wallachia should be out tomorrow or Monday. Some things I researched while writing it: Romanian peasant fashion, European bison, ciorbe (sour soup), types of horse-drawn carriages, Wallachian horses, ancient Dacia and its religion.

14. Wallachia Chapter 8: Goings and Comings

Chapter 8 of Wallachia: A Penny Dreadful by David Ely. The castle learns of Marley’s disappearance.

Dracula Beats the Communists

Bram Stoker’s novel was a mixed blessing for Romania. It attracted tourists, but the legend was at odds with communist ideals and made a villain of a national hero.

Chapter 12: The Farmer’s Afterlife

Chapter twelve of Wallachia is out. Get it from the App Store and read it for free (then leave a tip, if you please).

Abraham deals with the body he discovered in chapter nine.


For those keeping track at home, it’s Monday, 19 June (old style dates). The moon will be a 🌒waxing crescent. Marley got back home last night (ch 11). Around the time Abraham is riding back the village, Eugen is transferred to the village jail from the castle dungeon (assuming that all happens).


There’s no chance anyone will notice, but in chapter one I said there was a fountain in the middle of the town square. As I was writing Abraham passing by it, I realized this probably isn’t historically accurate. Fountains require either pumps to move the water or an elevated water source. So, I changed it. If you go back and read chapter one, it now says:

The carriage pulled up to the csárda. The village inn, tavern, and meeting place sat at the back of the town square. In the center of the square stood a statue of a boy and a girl looking up at the sky just above the mountains across the river. A large display of flowers were planted at their feet. Surrounding the statue were a number of shops, including the bakery above which Marley’s family lived.


As I say in the news section, this chapter includes a brief recap of Carmilla. I was a little worried I’d have to fudge the timeline, but it turns out Bram Stoker already did that for me.

Carmilla never establishes what year it’s set in. It appeared in a collection called In a Glass Darkly, which opens with a brief framing device. The stories therein are supposed to have been compiled by the assistant of Dr. Martin Hesselius, a paranormal investigator. Dr. Hessellius corresponded with a Professor Van Loo of Leyden. After the professor’s death in 1819, the assistant collected the interesting cases from their letters and included them in what we’re reading as In a Glass Darkly. So, everything in the book must have occurred at least a few years prior to 1819 when the professor died.

In Carmilla, the characters come across a portrait of Countess Mircalla painted when she was still alive in 1698. Later, when they discover that Carmilla is actually the Vampire Mircalla, Laura’s father says, “Why, she has been dead more than a century!” If we assume she died not long after it was painted, the story has to be set after 1798 to be “more than a century” later.

In Dracula’s Guest, a traveller comes across a grave intended to be that of Carmilla from Le Fanu’s story. It’s dated 1801. And there we have it! (Why the characters of that story would have erected a tomb for her, I’m not sure.)


Lastly, because I’m certain I mispronounced it in the audiobook, a short note on Romanian greetings. Now, bear in mind that I don’t actually speak Romanian. As with a load of things, I’m faking it here and hoping people won’t notice (except of course that I’m pointing it out).

Buna dimineata: Good morning
Buna ziua: Good day (“zee-wah”) Buna seara: Good evening
Noapte buna: Good night, but literally said when one is going to sleep

The characters are obviously speaking Wallachian Romanian all the time that we’re reading as English, but I like to toss in a word here and there just to make the book more annoying to read.

Rereading each entry to set up @live_dracula will add up to be (I think) my 13th time reading the book.

13. Wallachia Chapter 7: An Imbalance of Humours

Chapter 7 of Wallachia: A Penny Dreadful by David Ely. Marley visits the castle’s dungeon.