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The Private Letters of Countess Erzsebet Bathory

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Paperback, 142 pages
Published April 9th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hisory, first-reads
I finished this First Reads book in 2 sittings. It was very interesting to read about a noble woman in a way that is so much more authentic and genuine to the life she lived as opposed to some of the more romanticized accounts presented in many novels. Getting a view in to what it took to run estates from day to day and the spirit Bathory possessed was really refreshing. Whatever truth there might be to the stories about her penchant for torture she was an interesting woman who worked tiresly to ...more
You may be unfamiliar with the name Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bathory but you have certainly heard of the ‘Bloody Countess’: the Hungarian noblewoman whom allegedly tortured and slaughtered hundreds of female household servants and proceeded to drink their blood as a fountain of youth, of sorts. Much of this sensationalism was told hundreds of years following her death and is simply a work of fiction. Regardless, a trial conviction and subsequent house arrest sentence concluded Countess Bathory’s lif ...more
Sean O'Hara
Might better be called "The Receipts and Official Correspondence of Elizabeth Bathory." There are certainly some nuggets of historical interest here, but if you're hoping for insight in Countess Bathory's personality, you'll be disappointed -- the few personal touches are formulaic except for one or two occasions when she's angry at someone for not doing what she told them (the most interesting point of the book being a letter chastising someone for stealing her marijuana, though unfortunately i ...more
Gottfried Reuter
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent sequel to "Infamous Lady" by the same author. Attorney Craft has returned to the Hungarian National Archives to find 40 more letters written by the so-called Blood Countess, Elizabeth (Erzsbet) Bathory. These letters are newly translated and, according to the author, presented for the first time in English. The letters are an assortment of administrative memos to servants and private letters written to fellow nobles. These letters show a personal side of this controversial w ...more
Jun 22, 2011 marked it as to-read
I've been interested in Elizabeth for a few years now, so I'm very excited to read this.
Jul 07, 2011 is currently reading it
Just starting-so excited for this one!
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, bathory
Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory was a medieval Hungarian countess, best known for bathing in blood to keep herself young. While it's a myth that she bathed in blood, there was a trial in which she was said to have tortured and killed several servant girls. The trial itself, however, was rather irregular, so whether Elizabeth Bathory was indeed guilty or not is still an open question.

The Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory by Kimberly L. Craft is a supplement to the author's book Infamous L
April Marie Alexander-Peck
Interesting and Informative

See a side of Elizabeth, the Countess of Bathory that doesn't seem to reflect history's reflection of what we've been taught. This book shows an intelligent and "sane" woman dealing with everyday life. This IS more of a "companion" sort of reading material (meaning you should know something about her background/history before delving here). I found this informative and I learned several pieces of information that I wasn't aware of. ...however...I love history!!! I CAN'
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Different Side

A very good account of Bathory through personal letters and other correspondence. Craft helps paint a picture of the courses that few have ever seen before. Extremely captivating tale and recommend for most history fanatics.
Liz Carrington
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I finished reading the author's first book,Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory, I was eagerly anticipating her next one. I would have simply been appeased with any sort of additional information or supplementation about Countess Elizabeth Bathory, but this book totally exceeded my expectations! It is a historically rich and compelling work that gives readers a look inside the "everyday" life, and possible state-of-mind, of one of history's most legendary an ...more
Christopher Pierce
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm always glad when Kimberly Craft writes a book about Erzsebet Bathory, because you know you're going to get a real, historical treatment and not another fictional account. This book is another home run for Bathory scholars everywhere, including over 40 letters published for the first time in English. I really enjoyed reading the real words of the lady herself and not the fabrications of a writer. Craft lays out the history well, explaining nuances of the 16th century in a way that today's rea ...more
Danielle Stoll
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I never finished this book, though I do intend to. The author, Kimberly L. Craft, does preface the book by warning readers this particular book may be more enjoyable after first reading "Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Ersebet Bathory" which was published first. I decided to ignore the advice and give "Private Letters" a shot. I got about halfway through before admitting I should backtrack.
Regardless, Craft has an excellent writing style. She basically gives a chronological story with
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very good supplement to the author's first work on Erzsebet Bathory, "Infamous Lady." Very well written. Although the historical background is complex, the author does a good job of explaining the events and relating them to the letters written by this mysterious Hungarian countess. What I found so fascinating, and also alarming, was how this woman sounded so completely "normal" in all of her letters--even religious and pious--and yet could be accused of such atrocities in private. While she w ...more
Melanie Coombes
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a very detailed, informative book on private letters of Countess Erzsebet Bathory. I did not read the author's first book. This is a follow up to the Infamous Lady. Sadly, my library does not have a copy of that book, so definitely excited to have won a copy of this one.
Even if you never read The Infamous Lady, the author included a short biography of a few pages before staring the book.
It was pretty amazing to be reading translated letters from the early 1600s. Fascinating stuff! The
Magis Tan
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. I am always looking for new information on Elizabeth Bathory, and this book had dozens of new letters I've never seen. They paint a fascinating picture of the trials and tribulations this woman went through. Her homes and castles were stolen, her people killed, farms burned, land invaded, all the while dealing with the treacherous politics of king, emperor, Turks, revolutionaries and even relatives. The translations are done well and really capture the feel of the perio ...more
Christina Graff
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another winner for historical scholarship. For the person who thinks he or she knows everything about Lady Bathory, I guarantee that you will not have seen these letters before or realized what all was happening to the "Blood Countess," Erzsebet Bathory, during her tumultuous life: wars, intrigue, hyperinflation, and just petty gossip and politics. She speaks from the heart in her letters to fellow nobility, families and servants, and one can hardly believe that this is the same woman accused of ...more
Ashley Logan
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful followup to Infamous Lady! I cannot say how wonderful Kim is! She did a beautiful job on both books and put a lot of work into them. I envy her for the research and the documents she was able to find and have access to! I cannot praise her enough! I would recommend these books to anyone! Wonderfully done! She should be proud! I'm very proud of her! And I am glad I found her!
Arthur Lee
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Superb research by the author of "Infamous lady." Reading Countess Bathory's actual letters was both eye-opening and surprising, first, because she did so much to care for her property and problems, and second, because nothing hints at the murderous pathology for which she would blamed for centuries to come. Cover up? Conspiracy? This book certainly begs the question.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book that has many private letters from the Infamous Lady to a number of people. It shows a totally different side of Elizabeth. However some of it is rather dull, managing household affairs and that sort of thing. The author is brilliant though and has done the research and really tried to give as many details as she could find.
Elizabeth Cole
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
very educational, interesting, however extremely wordy. These letters however are translated to English so something occasionally gets lost in translation but the author does a very good job with the translation. I will be reading the book that comes before this one, its not a series I just happened to read this one first.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it liked it
More useful to a scholar with some solid background in the historical context of these letters. Not good for beginners who don't have enough reference points. The letters tend to be very brief and often say very little - a strange change of pace after reading the letters between John and Abigail Adams.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fascinating insight into the life of Elizabeth Bathory's day to day dealings. Very much enjoyed reading her letters, due to the stories that surround her it was almost strange to read her writing of wheat prices & chasing justice for crimes committed against her people. Definitely humanized her for me. ...more
Kristina Franken
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anyone

FTC: I received a free copy of this book and was not reimbursed in any other way.
Lucinda Rose
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is actually research for a writing project...
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
The Kindle edition is not formatted well, so you may want to buy the actual book. I think anyone interested in Erzebet Bathory would find this book interesting.
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Kimberly L. Craft holds bachelor and master's degrees as well as a juris (law) doctorate. She also received a Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache from the Goethe Institut in Munich. Prof. Craft has served on various faculties, including DePaul University and Florida A&M College of Law. An attorney and legal historian, Prof. Craft has spent over a decade researching the life and trial of Countess B ...more

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