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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.

Flowers of Transylvania cover Download from Amazon Download from Amazon Apple Books link Apple Books link

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?


Mignola, Mike (pencils). Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Topps, 1992. Four-issue adaptation of the film by Francis Ford Coppola; available in trade paperback.

Bowie, David and David Mallet. “Ashes to Ashes.” 1980. At the time the most expensive music video ever made.

Picard was quite good but, like most episodes of Discovery, it rarely felt like Star Trek to me. I think just want an optimistic crew going on adventures more?

10. Wallachia Chapter 4: Evening Tea

Chapter 4 of Wallachia: A Penny Dreadful by David Ely. Ion and Kwasi take Marley to the pub. They hear some music, she notices that something’s up with Nea Eugen, and (another) strange visitor arrives in town.

It’s hard for me to focus on programming with the kids at home. I have a bunch of ways I want to improve the Wallachia app that I’m excited about, and I’m trying to figure out how to get my head in the right place for coding. That aside, chapter 11 should be out before too long.

Far Sector continues to be one of the best books going.

Here’s a chilling 13th century Wallachian legend about Manoli, a stonemason tasked by Radu the Black to build a monastery.

Sypha calls Jason Isaacs’s character in season three of Castlevania a “township judge.” I suspect that’s from județ, which was an administrative office combining judge and major in Wallachia and Moldavia. Her line is that it was, “a very old term for the headman and landlord of a town, from the time before boyars and lords.” Boyar was an aristocratic rank in slavic countries. Dracula describes himself as one in chapter two: “Here I am noble; I am boyar; the common people know me, and I am master.”

Classic Vampire Stories You Can Read for Free

I’ve read a good portion of the vampire stories published prior to 1900. Here are what I consider to be the essential ones. You can get all of them for free or very cheap as ebooks.

Any collection of vampire stories must start with Dracula. Bram Stoker’s novel deserves its status as a classic and, unlike a good deal of 19th century literature, is perfectly readable to modern eyes. If you’ve never read it, Dracula is one you shouldn’t skip.

📕Dracula: Kindle,* Apple Books, Project Gutenberg

If Stoker is the father of vampire literature, Lord Byron is its grandfather. His 1813 poem, The Giaour, contains one of the first references to vampires in the English language. Lines 757–768:

But first, on earth as vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are withered on the stem.

Full text of the poem here.

In the summer of 1816, Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John William Polidori spent a weekend together in Switzerland where they engaged in a “ghost writing” contest. From that weekend, Shelley produced Frankenstein, and Byron wrote A Fragment of A Novel, an early take on a vampire story.

📕A Fragment: Read online here.

Inspired by Byron’s story, Polidori wrote The Vampyre; A Tale, in which our protagonist Aubrey comes to meet Lord Ruthven and discovers him to be a fiend who preys upon Europe’s socialites.

📕The Vampyre: Kindle, Apple Books, Project Gutenberg

The next major work is probably the 1845–1847 penny dreadful Varney the Vampire by James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett Prest. It’s fun and was definitely an influence on Stoker, but I wouldn’t call it essential reading.

A direct precursor to Dracula comes with Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871–1872 serial Carmilla. It features/establishes the lesbian vampire and has a vampire hunter who clearly presages Van Helsing.

📕Carmilla is featured in Le Fanu’s collection In a Glass Darkly: Kindle, Apple Books, Project Gutenberg

For further reading, Andrew Barger’s collection, 📕The Best Vampire Stories 1800–1849: A Classic Vampire Anthology (Kindle, Apple Books) is well worth the money.

Last and least, there’s my own book, 📕Wallachia, which is set 77 years before the events of Dracula. I put out new chapters every few weeks for free via an iOS app I designed, or you can listen to the audiobooks as a podcast, or get the prelude, Flowers of Transylvania, on Kindle or Apple Books.

* I couldn’t find a free Kindle edition of Dracula. It’s in the public domain so it should be free. Project Gutenberg and Apple Books both have it.

† Amazon’s copy of In a Glass Darkly is split into three parts, the third of which has Carmilla. For 98¢ you can get the whole collection for Kindle, which has a few other good ghost stories. The Apple Books and Project Gutenberg collections are complete and free.