The exact length of Vlad's period of captivity is open
to some debate. The Russian pamphlets indicate that he
was a prisoner from 1462 until 1474. Apparently his
imprisonment was none too onerous.
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He was able to
gradually win his way back into the graces of Hungary's
monarch; so much so that he was able to meet and marry a
member of the royal family (the cousin of Matthias) and
have two sons who were about ten years old when he reconquered
Wallachia in 1476.
McNally and Florescu
place Vlad III the Impaler's actual period of
confinement at about four years from 1462 to 1466. It is
unlikely that a prisoner would have been allowed to
marry into the royal family. Diplomatic correspondence
from Buda during the period in question also seems to
support the claim that Vlad's actual period of
confinement was relatively short.
The openly pro-Turkish
policy of Vlad's brother, Radu (who was prince of Wallachia during most of
Vlad's captivity), was a
probable factor in Vlad's rehabilitation. During his
captivity, Vlad also adopted Catholicism.
the years before his final release in 1474 (when he
began preparations for the reconquest of Wallachia),
Vlad resided with his new wife in a house in the
Hungarian capital (the setting of the thief anecdote).
Vlad had a son from an earlier marriage, Mihnea cel Rău.
Dracula - Vlad III the Impaler - Return
to Wallachia and death