Trick or Treat Part 3 of 6
One of the best Victorian Gothic novels was Bram Stoker's Dracula, a fast paced, highly readable and downright scary tale published in 1897. Whilst not the first vampire novel, his book is the most influential as is evident by the countless books, movies and other creative works that followed.

Bram Stoker spent 7 years researching European folklore, Romanian history and Transylvanian superstitions for his book. The inspiration for the name Dracula came from the Romanian surname of a real heinous 15th century Prince otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler for his nasty habit of dispatching people he thought "useless to humanity."

No one is sure if Stoker was also influenced by another historical villainess,a 16th century Hungarian Countess called Elizabeth Bathory who killed many young women reputedly so she could drink or bathe in their blood to stay beautiful. Interestingly, Bram Stoker's Dracula looked younger after a "feed".

Beautiful young women feature in the story. There were the brides of Dracula, wanton female vampires who nearly got their fangs into the hero, Jonathan Harker. There was the "lily-like" Lucy Westerna, best friend to the heroine, Mina Harker. Alas, Lucy became a vampire and had to be destroyed.

So you can see why the theme of a lovely but deathly pale young woman with blood-red lips was chosen for the "Gioielli XXL' jewelry photo shoot.  Jean-Francois Lepage was the photographer for M by Le Monde Magazine article (June 2009). The model is depicted in decidedly undead poses with jewelry artfully draped on her. Creepy. But not as creepy as last year's real human skeletons as jewelry displays.

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