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The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory
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The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  302 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Elizabeth Bathory genuinely believed that only by constant bathing in virgins' blood would she be able to retain her waning youthful good looks. Through her position of supreme, absolute power she was able to procure an endless number of victims.
Paperback, 154 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Solar Books (first published January 1st 1962)
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Max Renn
Dec 09, 2009 Max Renn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goths, phlebotomists, lesbians, babysitters
now this is just my favorite sort of thing... history done as a cheap paperback with a lurid cover.

here we have the biography of notorious mass murderer, blood fetishist and torture stylist erzsebet bathory - as written by surrealist valentine penrose and translated by that most legendary literary junkie pimp, the situationist alexander trocchi. with an erratic and occulted prose style, badly translated, and highly suspect from a factual point of view; you would swear this book was put together
...more
Jennifer
Perplexingly awful; I'm one of those gullible fraidy-cat types who loves a good story about serial killers (medieval or otherwise), but I couldn't finish this. I suspect part of the problem is that the translation is appallingly done, but the subject matter jumps from Erszebet to her potentially incestuous relations to the occult to the occult's influences on Erszebet to Gilles de Rais to astrology... That, coupled with a stunning lack of references, annoys the crap out of me.
Steve Davies
Totally unreliable as a history but ok as a macabre and Surrealistic fantasy. The poor translation by Alexander Trocchi doesn't help.
Carole Gill
Just finished this. It's actually for research, but Erzebat Bathory always fascinated me.
It is difficult to believe, to comprehend she was that monsterous but there are papers as I understand it that are not available so one wonders why.

Penrose has written a book that is riveting, I found some of it really difficult to read and I write dark horror!
I would say this is a well-written book that is very shocking but for anyone interested in Bathory and her times, I would recommend it.
Eliza
Something was wrong here. Not sure if the translation or the writing itself. But I loved reading about Erzsebet's life. Fascinating character, darker than darkness itself.
Greg
So detailed, vivid, and sensuous you'd think the author was really there. Or made it all up. To wank to.
Runningrabbit
This is a mind blowing account of a Countess who lived in the 17th Century. She is believed to have been the first accounted-for female serial killer. They estimate she may have murdered up to 600 girls and women.

At the rear of the book they have a transcript of the court hearing. Scarey, and trully amazing; reading is believing.
The book is written in a echoes the times, and I believe it's a pretty good telling in both an historical/background sense, and in reflecting how things pretty much we
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Helen Kitson
This is not, strictly speaking, a biography of Erzsebet Bathory, neither is it an historical document.

French poet Valentine Penrose was active in the Surrealist art movement and married to British surrealist Roland Penrose (his second wife was photographer Lee Miller).

Thus I feel that I need to issue a ‘buyer beware’ notice to anyone thinking of picking up this book – it’s written in a rather dreamy style that takes enormous liberties with the facts. She doesn’t cite her sources and the book is
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Emma Woodcock
Wow, this book is atrocious! The prose is execrable (and I don't think you can entirely blame the translater), yet oddly readable. It is supposedly a factual book of historic account, but it's filled with conjecture, cod-psychology, astrology ffs! and the kind of bad-novel detail that no one today could possibly know about the people involved. Towards the end it goes off without warning onto an extended tangent about Gilles De Rais - a simlarly monstrous figure, who has hitherto been mentioned i ...more
Darrell
"The moon being in Capricorn, it was advisable to bathe in the middle of the night, to the accompaniment of the interminable and monotonous drone of magic spells, in a bath of bitter resin. In a secret underground room like a crypt, Darvulia, with the patience of a practiced sorceress, drew circles and signs according to the inner grammar of her necromantic ken, not for an instant straying in that labyrinth of baneful, black geography. Awakening these dark powers within herself, she would live o ...more
Sir Michael Röhm
Valentine Penrose was a Surrealist poet, one of the first women in the movement.

Accordingly, this book in a dreamy, poetic style. Readers seeking a sober recounting of history will not find it in this book. Instead, the book is replete with passages such as this:

"The moon being in Capricorn, it was advisable to bathe in the middle of the night, to the accompaniment of the interminable and monotonous drone of magic spells, in a bath of bitter resin. In a secret underground room like a crypt, Darv
...more
Rhett
I would highly recommend that you AVOID researching the life of Erzsebet Bathory. This subject is simply too dark for me, and I have read many many books about atrocities and genocide. I am well versed in the most horrific war crimes that have occured in Africa over the last 100 years and while this book is very graphic in its describtions it still pales when compared to some of the things I've read about people doing to one another. However, where this is different is Erzsebet was very much int ...more
Laurie
This is a book I started about a year ago and put down because it was not what I thought it was going to be. I picked it up again a few days ago to get it off my book to-do list. This time, I figured out why I didn't like it. The authors created a mishmosh of a book with little organization and constant jumping between subjects. This book was about Erzsebet Bathory, but the last quarter of the book went into many details and stories about Gille de Rais. Sure, there were comparisons between the l ...more
C. D.  Brinker
Still a lot of discrepancies amidst the historical atrocities of The Blood Countess . . . this book however does stand as being the one (if not the only) official biography of Erzsebet Bathory.

Very insightful, albeit a little hard to follow as its language is rather cryptic, more so because the names and locations of events are extremely foreign.

At times, the book loses your attention through its rather monotonous approach at explaining individuals and their histories, but there's enough blood
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Ricardo Perez
Es importante que las historias estén bien escritas. Aún más las terribles e inhumanas. Esto con el fin de que te atrapen y poder continuar hasta el final sin caer en el morbo "per sé".
A Erzébet Báthory se le hace un injusto honor al relatarse necesariamente su enferma manía de toruturar y matar doncellas (muchas muy jóvenes) para bañarse con su sangre a fin de presevar su inigualable belleza. Esta Condesa gozaba de un prestigio notable entre la nobleza húngara. No discriminaba: campesinas, nobl
...more
aya
After discovering and falling in love with Solar Books the other week, I realized that I already had one of their books--The Bloody Countess.
This book follows in the vein of La Bas and Benedetti's Bluebeard--lyrical and poetic, we are able to see not only the actions but also the psychological and historical affecting and surrounding Erzsebet Bathory. Well-written and flows well, although at times a little clunky. Perhaps the fault of translation.
Penrose does an amazing job at giving a sense o
...more
David
This book is...hard to review.
It's 200 and some pages, unfortunately not only about Elisabeth Bathory. It has LOADS of Hungarian History. SO if you're interested just in the character like me, the loads of Hungarian history is pretty boring. Then it had a very...peculiar...writing style. It takes you a while to get used to the weird way it's written and the constant exotic phrases that mix History with fiction.
Apart from that is a very interesting reading about a homicidal maniac that was Elisab
...more
pavao
Dec 25, 2007 pavao rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the morbidly curious and easily titillated
I read this concurrently with a class in Western Civilization, so it was interesting to compare the author's version with the actual history of 16th century Hungary. There was definitely some poetic license taken, and the author offers some sketchy theories on the pathopsychology of the Countess. A fun read, as long as you don't take it as gospel.
Mary
The translation to English is less than seamless, making for a stilting read, but this book is worth every second. Perfect for any enthusiasts, I do not recommend this book to anyone who is not already familiar with Countess Bathory's history and looking to find out more. Be aware of what you're getting yourself into!
Patricia
A lot of history on one of the most infamous female serial killers. Sort of dry, but I needed to read a factual account after reading a novelized, fictionalized version of her life, in The Blood Confession. Very interesting, but only recommend it to history buffs.
Victoria Price
With excellent research (including transcripts for the original 'trial') and poetic prose. Penrose presents the life and crime of Elizabeth Bathory as a technicolor nightmare. Whilst I liked her floral style of writing, some maybe put off by it.
Colin
A difficult book to review. Shockingly badly written or translated, but of fascinating (if gruesome) subject matter - the atrocities of the infamous Erzsebet Bathory. If you don't already know who that is, this probably isn't the book for you.
Jackie
This account of Erzsebet Bathory's life is a difficult read. The writing is stilted, probably at least in part due to the translation, and boring. Also, if you are looking for a truly historical account with references, none are included here.
Rebecca Johns
Poetic, difficult to read, heavily dependent on fiction and legend and very little on fact. The translations of the trial documents are the best part of the book.
Crystal
Love the subject. Lots of information in the book, but the book itself was poorly organized and at times seemed to ramble or change subject quicky.
Mayra
La historia es muy buena, da miedo imaginarse que alguien así pudiera haber existido. La narración de Penrose me pareció cansada.
Mine
En la traducción al español se pierde mucho de la riqueza del texto original.... Léanlo en inglés preferiblemente
Sandra
This is an excellent read that contains a great deal of historical information not available in other books.
Rita Ramos
Loved the gore and detailed historical events.
Very factual with the right ammount of fantasy.
Jennifer
Oct 28, 2007 Jennifer marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
After all I'm bathing in virgin's blood in my avatar....

who's fucked up now Floyd? hahah
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La loca de los sargazos THE BLOODY COUNTESS: Atrocities Of Erzsebet Bathory The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory Poems and narrations Ecrits D'une Femme Surréaliste

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