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

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  26 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.
Unknown Binding, 285 pages
Published February 19th 1998 by Not Avail (first published 1997)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  215 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sarina M
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 I have heard a little bit of Countess Bathory before, and was curious about her and how she got away with killing so many people for so long. After reading this I now understand how shitty it was living in the 16th century. The aristocracy basically had unlimited power, and could kill common people without any recourse. Torture was commonly used for punishment and when people were even suspected of crimes. I thought Thorne's arguments that perhaps Bathory was wrongfully convicted were pretty ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author draws on primary source material to investigate the truth behind all the rumors about the infamous Elisabeth Bathory. Legends claim that she killed over 600 serving girls and bathed in their blood to retain her youthful appearance, but according to letters and trial transcripts, it's possible that the accusations were more like a smear campaign in order to reduce Elisabeth's wealth and power. The author also examines common medical practices and punishments of the time and how these t ...more
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
The most important thing you can ask yourself before picking up this book is: what are you looking for? Have you heard of Elizabeth Bathory and want to know more about her life and the crimes she was convicted of committing? Or have you read about her extensively and want to know more about the nitty gritty details of her trial and the historical and political context in which it occurs?

If that second option isn't your answer, steer clear of this book. Thorne should be commended on the exhaustiv
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 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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!
The Badger
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This biography (written through historical documents), was nothing short of amazing. My perspective on Erszebet Bathory has certainly changed. I no longer see her as a mass murder (comparable to her distant cousin, Vlad Tepis), but a woman railroaded into crimes she probably did not commit because she had the audacity to consider other male rulers her equals, and the "misfortune" to own a good deal of coveted land. Court records question whether ANY deaths happened (other than those of her tortu ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
O relato bem informado e minucioso do que se conhece da Condessa Sangrenta, ainda hoje a mais prolífica entre os assassinos em série mais conhecidos, uma lista na qual, curiosamente, não constam muitas mulheres.
M. B.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
The factual details and excerpts from historical documents create an immersive reading experience, but the author's suggestions that Elizabeth Bathory was largely an innocent victim railroaded by scheming men are tortured and unconvincing.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Drew Martin
There’s a fine line between a good biography and a bad biography relating to the given history of the time and place. We, as readers, need some sort of introduction. Our table needs to be set in order to dive into the main course, the subject’s story. As a rule, we don’t need six spoons and five forks. Too much history introducing a biography can and often does ruin the reading experience. We need a little background, but that’s not the reason we’re reading. Tony Thorne’s 1997 book, Countess Dra ...more
Greg Kerestan
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Okay, so I gave this book fairly decent rating because I learned a lot and it had a lot of really great information. The reason this book didn't rate higher - it was really boring. This book took me almost two months to read and the only reason it got read was because I forced myself to read one chapter a day. There was too much geographic detail that got really old, really fast. For such an interesting topic, the book was incredibly dry, in my opinion.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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??
Oct 11, 2015 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.
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesomely gruesome real life dark ages biography of a sado-masochistic aristocrat and the rumours surrounding her at the time,
Eppu B.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pure excellency.
Rebecca Johns
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very well researches and balanced account of Bathory's crimes, and the crimes of those who imprisoned her.
Daniel Finnegan
rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2016
rated it it was ok
May 26, 2013
Sean O'Hara
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2016
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2015
Bee Scarlett
rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2019
Nicholas James
rated it it was amazing
Nov 08, 2009
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