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Countess Dracula: Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess
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Countess Dracula: Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
This is the story of Elisabeth Bathory, a 17th-century Transylvanian countess. She was tried as a vampire and became an inspiration for depraved murderers up to the present day. Based on research conducted at archives in Eastern Europe, this account includes both the recorded truth and the legend that has grown up around her
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 17th 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1997)
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Nov 29, 2011 Darrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, bathory
Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory, a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I, was said to have murdered hundreds of girls and bathed in their blood in order to retain a youthful appearance. If you're thinking it's not possible to bathe in blood due to coagulation, think again. The stress of a sudden violent death causes the body to overproduce fibrinolysin, an anti-coagulent. So, the blood could indeed remain liquid for hours after death, plenty of time to take a nice warm bath.

The story of Countess Dracul
Michelle Brandstetter
Countess Dracula is a book detailing the twisted crimes of Countess Elisabeth Bathory & several people in her employ. It's a very detailed & unbiased look into the charges, torture & trial of the countesses servants, their subsequent punishment, and the fate of the countess herself. It is extremely factual, although can grow rather tedious as we review the responses from each witness as they collaborate previous testimony. I found it an interesting read because I was under the incorr ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting and well written. Not an era or person who we can ever get a whole picture of. The fact that the author explored the possibility of her not being guilty was interesting as well as putting her actions into the context of the time period so her possible brutality is more understandable in the context.
If that makes any sense.
A good read although I think I am burned out about this time period and its brutality for a while now!
Greg Kerestan
Jan 25, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, an interesting blend of legend and medieval true-crime, wasn't as lurid and gothic as I had expected. Countess Elisabeth Bathory lives on in legend as a bloodthirsty lesbian vampire-witch cannibal goddess succubus queen, but this book allowed for little of the gruesome or titillating in its narrative. Rather, it contrasted the legend of Bathory with the reality of the situation, positing that Bathory, while not necessarily innocent, may have been nothing but a stern authoritarian whos ...more
Lauren Albert
Definitely a believer in Bathory's innocence--at least as to the worst charges (since he thinks that elites were often cruel and that could lead to unintentional death). I thought he should have spent more time on the other side to give the story balance. I think the title should have been different since, in his quest to prove his point, he focused a lot of time on background and on the stories of similarly accused women and not that much on Bathory herself. Sometimes I felt his reasoning was a ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Janina rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I had heard of Elizabeth Báthory before in the context of her being obsessed with blood, drinking and bathing in it. So when I stumbled over the book in my local library, I thought it might be quite interesting to learn how and who she really was. And after it took me ages to get through this book, I still can't really tell.

I really do understand that the author had a very hard time here because there are so little documents concerning Elizabeth Báthory left. In that respect Tony Thorne did an i
First of all, this book is very poorly titled. Thorne states in one of the first chapters that calling Elisabeth Bathory "The Blood Countess" or "Countess Dracula" is completely sensationalist, and this is really a sober and well-researched account of her life, so the title doesn't fit at all. I'm guessing Thorne picked the title to draw attention to the book, or he got it forced on him by the publisher, but whatev. On to the book itself.

This book is a fairly well written and extremely well rese
Jan 30, 2015 Irka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on this subject I've ever read. Author really makes you think if she really killed 600 girls? To me, it seems way to high, she was "just a woman" in "an age of paid witnesses, faked testimony, of prosecuting counsel who were alloed to do almost anything they liked, and defendants who were allowed no counsel at all" - and I think this quote sum up perfectly her story.


Super książka, porównać ją mogę tylko do "Draculi" M.Cazacu. Widać, że autor zgłębił temat
Oct 15, 2015 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interessant onderwerp maar de schrijver lijkt zelf niet goed te weten wat hij ermee aan moet. In elk hoofdstuk worden een hoop zijsporen gevolgd en telkens andere conclusies getrokken. Het helpt ook niet dat zoveel mensen dezelfde naam hebben.
Eppu B.
Jun 22, 2015 Eppu B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure excellency.
Jun 22, 2014 Laesar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
found this book dull
Sep 07, 2008 Alisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book about Bathory for it's great depiction of both possible paths through history: did she commit all of those heinous murders...or was she merely framed for it by men eager to get her out of the way and get their hands on her money? It's difficult, if not impossible to separate fact from fiction in this case, but both sides of the story are well rendered. And how cool is the Bathory crest on the cover??
May 13, 2012 Joss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natuskashii
A certin British metal band who I now feel too embarrassed to list to made me want to know more about Countess Bathory, and this thorough study is a perfect place to start to see how the myth and the history enmesh or rather, don't!
Meg Marie
Jan 03, 2013 Meg Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of this read like some sort of torture porn (not my fave) but all of the local and cultural history was fascinating. Well researched, with some pretty. Illuminating discoveries.
Mar 03, 2013 Colin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book to read if you want to learn more about those times and the real reasons that the legends about Countess Bathory sprouted up.
Dec 24, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it
Awesomely gruesome real life dark ages biography of a sado-masochistic aristocrat and the rumours surrounding her at the time,
Rebecca Johns
Jan 07, 2011 Rebecca Johns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well researches and balanced account of Bathory's crimes, and the crimes of those who imprisoned her.
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Tony Thorne MBE, a Chartered Design Engineer, built up a research and development company in Kent, England. Its eventual worldwide commercial success led to him being awarded the MBE by the Queen. Now retired, he writes speculative, science and fantasy, fiction and has published over fifteen collections of short stories, including the award winning TENERIFE TALL TALES trilogy, and MACABRE TALES. A ...more
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