esoteric orders such as the Theosophists believed him to be a ‘ascended Master’ – animmortal being that whose task was to protect humanity in times of need (12).Leaving the Count aside, let me briefly examine if there is a reason to believe thatGodwin’s St Leon was inspired after the mysterious figure of St Germain.There is,first of all, the quite coincidental association of the names of “Saint”. Secondly, bothwere of high birth and counts; while St Germain’s origin was never surely ascertained,almost all witnesses considered him nobility. Thirdly, the fictitious St Leon was aFrench man; even though St Germain was reputed to have originated fromTransylvania, his fame came at the French court of Louis XV. There is even anassociation with the Transylvanian lands: in the book, St Leon enlists the support of villain Bethlem Gabor, whose character was moulded after Gabor Bethlen, a real prince of Transylvania. The Transylvanian connection extends further: at some point,St Leon chooses to live in the house of Ragotski – Ragotzy being deemed the realname of St Germain (13).Just like legendary St Germain, St Leon is an immortal and an alchemist, except in StLeon’s case his immortality is acquired not through his efforts but through the ‘elixir of life’ being given to him. Similarly to St Germain, St Leon travels all over Europe,except in his case this is a forced rather than chosen situation.Of course, I am not necessarily saying that St Leon is only the impersonation of StGermain – but rather that St Germain offered an archetype that Godwin expandedupon. Besides St Germain, St Leon might be the conflation of the figures of other mysterious alchemists like Paracelsus or Nicolas Flamel (14). Yet, at the time Godwinwas writing, St Germain had been the latest and most well-known of the “immortals”.This concludes, at least for now, the investigation into the sources of the ‘goodvampire’ archetype. Going deeper and deeper, we found that the initial vampire storywas written by the personal physician of Lord Byron, Dr Polidori, and that his sourcemay have been William Godwin’s novel
itself may have sprungfrom the 18th century legends of the legendary alchemist, the Count of St Germain.Thus, in an indirect way, the legendary figure of the Count of St Germain may haveinspired the Vampire Dracula. When he wrote Dracula, Bram Stoker may not havedirectly encountered the story of St Germain, but the lasting ripples of theextraordinary Count’s myth may have reached him through Godwin and Polidori.After all, Dracula was also a Transylvanian Count.
(1), (4), (6), (7), (8), (12) Cooper-Oakley, I. (1912).
The Comte de Saint Germain.
The Musical Quarterly,
36(4), pp. 540-550.(9), (11)
Great Secret Count St. Germain
. Washington: HealthResearch Publishers.(13) Godwin, W. (1832).
The Travels of St Leon
. Online. Available at: