To My Dear Friend

To fully appreciate Hellsing, you need a solid grounding in vampires and other myths. Start with Dracula. But Stoker drew ideas from earlier books, and Hellsing's range of sources goes beyond that.

Fortunately, most of these sources are old enough that their copyrights have long expired. If you can, pick up a copy at your library and relax on the couch with it; if not, here are virtual versions of the relevant texts:

Vampire Stories

Dracula by Bram Stoker:
The classic novel; Hellsing is a direct sequel to its events. Get this in, if nothing else. Just don't believe the ending.
at The Literature Network (searchable!)
on LiveJournal (in progress; read in realtime!)
at the Online Literature Library
at Project Gutenberg

Dracula's Guest, by Bram Stoker:
A short story, said by Florence Stoker to be an excised first chapter of Dracula, although scholars have since cast serious doubt on this. (Note that it's in a very different style.) Still, it's clear that Hirano's seen it.
at The Literature Network
at The Online Literature Library
at Project Gutenberg

Carmilla, by J. Sheridan LeFanu
One of Stoker's direct inspirations. Read this and you'll be able to sort out the confused allusions in Hellsing Order 09: Red Rose Vertigo - even though the translators couldn't.
at Project Gutenberg
at the UPenn English Department

The Vampyre, by John Polidori
The original vampire story, spawned from the same brainstorming session as Frankenstein. Featuring Lord Ruthven.
at Project Gutenberg
at Unicorn Garden

Varney the Vampire, or, The Feast of Blood by James Malcom Rymer:
An 1845 penny dreadful - that is, a cheap horror publication released serially, sort of the predecessor of pulp horror comics (or soap operas). A rousing read, and popular enough that it kept going for 237 chapters.
at The Varney the Vampire Text Archive Page

Other Useful Texts

The Ripley Scroll:
An alchemical text, lines from which are found on Alucard's coffin. ("The bird of Hermes is my name, eating my wings to make me tame.")
at Shine Hell
at The Alchemy Web Site
Information at the RCPE
An extended analysis at Shine Hell

The song that Rip Van Winkle sings aboard the H.M.S. Eagle approaching London.
at Shine Hell

"Lenore" by Gottfried August Bürger:
A poem which is quoted in Dracula ("Denn die Todten reiten Schnell" - "For the dead travel fast").
at Art of Europe (English)
at SFF Net (English)

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