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The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory - Rebecca Johns
The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory
by: (author)
3.33 30
Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics? In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian... show more
Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics? In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian noblewoman, stood helpless as masons walled her inside her castle tower, dooming her to spend her final years in solitary confinement. Her crime—the gruesome murders of dozens of female servants, mostly young girls tortured to death for displeasing their ruthless mistress. Her opponents painted her as a bloodthirsty škrata—a witch—a portrayal that would expand to grotesque proportions through the centuries.In this riveting dramatization of Erzsébet Báthory’s life, the countess tells her story in her own words, writing to her only son—a final reckoning from his mother in an attempt to reveal the truth behind her downfall. Countess Báthory describes her upbringing in one of the most powerful noble houses in Hungary, recounting in loving detail her devotion to her parents and siblings as well as the heartbreak of losing her father at a young age. She soon discovers the price of being a woman in sixteenth-century Hungary as her mother arranges her marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy, a union made with the cold calculation of a financial transaction. Young Erzsébet knows she has no choice but to accept this marriage even as she laments its loveless nature and ultimately turns to the illicit affections of another man. Seemingly resigned to a marriage of convenience and a life of surreptitious pleasure, the countess surprises even herself as she ignites a marital spark with Ferenc through the most unromantic of acts: the violent punishment of an insolent female servant. The event shows Ferenc that his wife is no trophy but a strong, determined woman more than capable of managing their vast estates during Ferenc’s extensive military campaigns against the Turks. Her naked assertion of power accomplishes what her famed beauty could not: capturing the love of her husband. The countess embraces this new role of loving wife and mother, doing everything she can to expand her husband’s power and secure her family’s future. But a darker side surfaces as Countess Báthory’s demand for virtue, obedience, and, above all, respect from her servants takes a sinister turn. What emerges is not only a disturbing, unflinching portrait of the deeds that gave Báthory the moniker “Blood Countess,” but an intimate look at the woman who became a monster.From the Hardcover edition.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780307588463 (0307588467)
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages no: 287
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Bücher, Bücher, 100000 Bücher
Bücher, Bücher, 100000 Bücher rated it
1.0 The Countess
I'm so very disappointed. This was not what I had expected. At all. I might've given more stars if I hadn't thought this would be about a serial killer and, you know, serial killing... I was incredibly bored throughout the whole book. From start to finish. So bored...
In laywoman's terms
In laywoman's terms rated it
3.0
I didn't disliked this book. Can't say I loved it either. It presented a nice look into what nobility had to face to remain wealthy and powerful. Something I didn't like about the way the book was written was the lack of an element of surprise. As soon as a character was introduced the author gave a...
Tiny Library
Tiny Library rated it
4.0 The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory
Countess Elizabeth Bathory is known to history as a blood-thirsty Hungarian murderess who bathed in the blood of virgins in order to stay young. Like Vlad Tepes (Dracula), her name is linked to vampire legends. In The Countess, Rebecca Johns presents a literary version of the life of Erzsebet Bath...
Reading with a Vengeance
Reading with a Vengeance rated it
2.0 The Countess: A Novel
A poorly paced and utterly soulless offering. This book stretched out over the entire life of the main character, which means almost every page was nothing but a summary of several years at once. There was no attempt to tell a story or examine any of the characters involved. It just plodded along...
A Book and A Review #2
A Book and A Review #2 rated it
2.0
First, let me premise that this book is written very well. Now with that out of the way, I cannot help but take the premise that this author was writing from a perspective that Bathory was some innocent, helpless, innocent victim instead of the vicious murderess that she was. There was many a time w...
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