Elizabeth’s causing trouble again… TorontoSun.com – Other News – Canada’s Baroness of the House of … Dracula
A cold wind gusts past surrounding gothic spires as the Baroness of the House of Dracula touches a bat-shaped earring and sinks her teeth into a discussion of one of her grand, consuming passions.
“I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a child. My father loved the game and he shared it with me at a young age,” says Dr. Elizabeth Miller, resident of Toronto, professor emerita of Memorial University, leading authority on all things vampiric — and, yes, Baroness of the House of Dracula.
So how does a solid daughter of Newfoundland, a cultured professor of English literature and a (dare we say rabid) Blue Jays fan end up as an expert on blood-sucking?
“I was teaching a course on the British Romantic poets (at Memorial University in St. John’s in 1990) and was looking for something new,” Miller says as she sits in a U of T cafeteria, having just finished an animated lecture on her favourite subject before a rapt audience of more than 100. “I was drawn to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and that led to (John) Polidori’s The Vampyre and finally to Dracula.
“I was just bitten, I suppose,” she says with the twinkle of someone who’s used the line before.
TRUE OR FALSE?
1. The real-life 15th-century Transylvanian ruler Dracula, known as Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s fictional count.
2. Dracula means “devil” in the Romanian language.
3. Stoker based Castle Dracula on Vlad the Impaler’s home, Castle Bran, which you can still visit today in Romania.
4. Nosferatu is a Romanian word for vampire.
5. Dracula must remain in his grave during the day or be destroyed by sunlight.
6. Stoker’s Dracula was an immediate success when it was published in 1897.
[check on the link for answers]