Wednesday, May 23, 2012

100th Anniversary of Bram Stoker's Death

BRAM STOKER DEAD AT 64 Author, and Manager of Sir Henry Irving, Expired in London. Bram Stoker, author, theatrical manager, close friend and advisor of the late Sir Henry Irving, died in London last Sunday. For twenty-seven years he was business manager for the famous English actor, in charge of the Lyceum Theatre during Irving's tenancy of that house. Mr. Stoker, whose first name was Abraham and who was always known by the diminutive of Bram, was born in Dublin in 1848. His father held an official post in Dublin Castle, and the young man was educated at Dublin university. At the university he took high honors in mathematics, and after his graduation he obtained a post in the civil service, finally becoming an Inspector of Petty Sessions. His personal relationship with Sir Henry Irving began in early youth, and their business association was formed in 1878, when Irving began his carer at the Lyceum. This association was not ended until the death of the actor, in 1905. After the passing of Irving, Stoker served on the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph, and also acted as the manager of David Bispham's light opera, "The Vicar of Wakefield." His best-known publication is "Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving," issued in 1908. Among his other works, mostly fantastic fiction, are " Under the Sunset," "The Snake's Pass," "The Watter's Mou," "The Shoulder of Shasta," "Dracula," "The Mystery of the Sea," "The Jewel of the Seven Stars," and "The Lady of the Shroud." His wife was Florence Agnes Lemon Balcombe, and they had one son. He was a medalist of the Royal Humane Society and a member of the National Liberal, the Authors', and the Green Room Clubs. The New York Times April 23, 1912 Note: copied with original errors. Corrections: Born in 1847, Florence Anne Lemon Balcombe

Powerful Women of History

The question remains, had Erzebet been a man, would she even have made history? Vlad III did, but he was a soldier, somewhat famous in his own time, and many still do not connect him with the fictional Dracula. Even his notoriety is coming into question. E.g., why did my church want to canonize him? Powerful women are often "unsexed," and seen as diabolical or unnatural. Much of this misogyny dates to early talkes of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. Her name apparently means something like demon or monster; I'll check my reading of last night and get back to you. Catherine d' Medici certainly was more powerful and more feared, and Queen Christina allegedly wore armour and fought like a man. Joan of Arc was burnt, in part, for fighting in armor, leading armies and "living" with men. No sane, non-occult woman would want to do so! Mary Queen of Scots, Bloody Mary, Artemesia, Cartimandua, Boadicea, the Borgia women, they all have been feared, villified, despised, and hated by historians. Catherine the Great officially may have committed more crimes than Erzebet could ever be accused of if we add up the casualties caused by her wars. The Beloved Queen Victorian herself would come under scrutiny, as would Elizabeth I of England, and Elizabeth II of Spain, durin whose reign The Amistad sailed. What of Cleopatra, and the myriad Roman Empresses who dealt out ruthless ends to their enemies and servants, and who often suffered such fates themselves? What hear we of them? If we can beleive her letters, and the translations I've seen, are rather self-serving and sketchy, Erzebet was very busy and spent an inordinate time tending to all sorts of details and financial matters in dangerous times. I hope to read Prof. Craft's book and to enlighten myself further. She lived in a place steeped in superstition and death; people died unnoticed all of the time on huge estates, and she had many. Castles and palaces were communities in and of themselves. I doubt even the current English Queen knows everything that goes on in her castles all of the time. Yet, Erzebet is held resonsible for everything. Catherine d' Medici also dabbled in the occult, yet was never tried or questioned. One wonders if it is because her antics, and those of the other Queens, were done for the "betterment" of the state, while Erzebet was accused of wanting to pursue her own personal beauty and gain. How much does jealousy and provincial ignorance play a role in her fate? Are there no letters left by friends and husband, only a select few sketchy "incriminating" letters and household accounts? Had she no friends left in life, no siblings? The whole story gets harder and harder to swallow.

some comments

The site has an art gallery and store and is very comprehensive. He is the composer of an opera bout her, and a distant relative as well. Actually, she has many relatives who write about her, including Andre Codrescu who wrote the novel, The Blood Countess. Most of the sensationalism and gore surrounding Erzebet seems to have started around 1765. Most modern sources claim she was never convicted herself of anything, and that as a reult of her imprisonment, the debt King Mathias owed her husband was forgiven. The comments below are very interesting, too:
From Countess Elizabeth Bathory: "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." So spoke George Bernard Shaw. But in the case of Elizabeth Bathory, one can't help feeling that his words would have been of small comfort to the next of kin. So vile were the Countess's crimes that her relatives must have feared that the family name would be eternally blackened. Indeed, it's said that after her death it was forbidden to mention the Countess's name in Hungarian society. But even if that were so, there was little the family could do to prevent her ghost from leaping into a dance macabre of preposterous proportions. Pretty much every slander imaginable has been thrown at 'The Blood Countess'. The milder accusations are that she engaged in abduction, torture, witchcraft and sexual perversion. The harsher ones claim that she mutilated young girls and bathed in their blood (apparently believing that it would preserve her beauty). They're not the kinds of things that you'd want to read over the breakfast table. Conservative estimates suggest that Bathory was responsible for the deaths of fifty girls, although some witnesses claimed that her victims ran into the hundreds. Several accomplices were involved, including one of the most unpleasant dwarves to have emerged from the pages of history, a highly unsavoury character named Ficko. Above: The ruins of Castle Cachtice in northern Slovakia. It was here that Bathory committed many of her crimes, and where she was eventually arrested on December 29th, 1610 Unsurprisingly, the basics of the Bathory tale have provided plenty of fodder for chroniclers and balladeers. The bloody Bathory myth has had several centuries to snowball as it rolled down the Slovakian slopes into the Western imagination. Indeed, it's perhaps only those not so charming chaps Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler who can rival the Countess in the East European villain stakes. A favourite of the Hammer House of Horror, Bathory has inspired dozens of movies of dubious merit, and in 2007, two more producers threw their hats into the ring. In light of all this gothic embroidery, the job of separating fact from fiction is a fairly hefty one. The Life of Elizabeth Bathory Elizabeth Bathory (Erzebet Bathory) was born in August 1560 into one of the grandest Hungarian families. Owing to defeat at the hands of the Turks forty years earlier, Hungary had been absorbed into the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Nevertheless, Hungarian Transylvania clung on to independence, and one branch of the Bathorys managed to secure the throne of that land. Later, in 1572, Stefan Bathory was elected King of Poland. Elizabeth Bathory was technically a subject of the Habsburg crown. Her family lands, dotted across today's Slovakia, were part of the 'Kingdom of Hungary' that was absorbed by the Habsburgs in 1536. That said, families of her stature could pretty much do as they wished provided that they were not overtly disloyal to the crown. This partly explains why the authorities were so slow to investigate Bathory's crimes. The young Countess was educated to be conversant in many languages. However, childhood was not a drawn out affair. Bathory was married off young, as was the custom, to a nobleman named Ferenc Nadasdy. Her main home then became Cachtice Castle, about 100 kilometres northeast of Bratislava. She was 15 at the time. Three years later Bathory's husband was proclaimed Chief Commander of the Hungarian troops, and he had to spend much of his time campaigning against the Turk. This gave the Countess a free rein - effectively she was answerable to no one for miles around. Can anything vaguely normal be said about 'the Blood Countess' before the catalogue of criminality is rolled out? Well, she did manage to give birth to a son, Paul, and three daughters, who as far as we know, were not deranged serial killers. And letters reveal that she used her power to intervene on behalf of Hungarian war widows who had fallen into dire straits. However, it's unlikely that St. Peter would consider such acts redeeming in the light of the charges laid against her. Witnesses testified that Bathory's favourite ruse was letting it be known that work was on offer. For miles around, most of the village dwellers were her own personal serfs with little in the way of rights. However, for a Slovakian peasant girl, the offer of work at a castle was nothing to be sniffed at. The Countess had properties dotted about Hungary and Austria, and she often travelled to Vienna and elsewhere. It was similar to entering service in a princess's court. (However, court witnesses later revealed that Bathory killed women just about anywhere and everywhere, regardless of where she was headed). Historians claim that the Countess got embroiled with a host of sinister characters. The kinds of women that might have been burnt as witches by other nobles were especially sought after by Bathory. It has been suggested that the Countess had a relationship with one of these witches, a woman by the name of Darvula, who is said to have helped commit the crimes. Official complaints started to come in in 1602 when the Lutheran priest Istvan Magyari lodged papers in Vienna. Two years later the Countess's husband died while away on campaign - reports vary as to whether he fell in battle, was assassinated or died from a disease picked up from a prostitute. Whatever it was, the complaints continued grow against Elizabeth Bathory in the following years. After about eight years of turning a blind eye, an investigation was launched. This followed much toing and froing between Bathory's extended family, who were desperate to avoid being tarnished by such a twisted brush. It seems that the decisive factor was that well-born girls had begun to fall victim to the Countess. Bathory had set up a sort of finishing school for the daughters of the lesser gentry, teaching them courtly etiquette. When well-born ladies started to go amiss, time was up for Bathory. On December 29th 1610, Count Gyorgy Thurzo burst into Cachtice Castle following an order to investigate from King Mathias himself. Two slain women were tracked down and several more were relieved, gaining what was a belated, but no doubt the best Christmas present they'd ever had. Bathory herself was arrested, along with several accomplices. Trial and Demise Porque la condesa bathory no llega a Buenos Aires Argentina. su historia, su cultura y el pais en que vivia reviewed by Jawuar from Argentina on Apr.02.2012 I wrote a paper on Elizabeth bathory in high school and from the info I got from books and the internet she supposedly had a kid with a peasant before she was married at 15 and her family gave the baby up for adoption because the babys dad and also they kept it a secret because she was engaged at the time, but then again this was like 400 or 500 years ago so who really knows the truth, but it is an interesting story! reviewed by lacey from United States on Mar.27.2012 Is is a real story. There is countless evidance that sshe murdered 650 young women in order to improve her complexion. She save really pretty girls to drink their blod and died while on house arrest. If you don't believe look up her biography. She created countless torture devices too! reviewed by Victoria from United Kingdom on Feb.22.2012 I think that this story is amazing. Its interesting and it pulls you in cause you want more. I think it lacks some info.. but the person who typed this did a good job. Im no professor just a high school student, but i might do one of my speeches on this subject of matter. reviewed by Kimberly T. from United States on Dec.21.2011 I like the "outline" of her life, but it is very basic. But history is very basic. We cant prove a thing. We did not live her life. My god she was 15 when she was forced to be an adult. And true, "she Is a witch" That has been played and played, until... Im sorry I dozed off. women were cattle, men were Gods. Land was everything, and money can make very good wittneses reviewed by Tammy from United States on Dec.12.2011 I think the story lacks evidence I need more proof in order to believe it My opinion is its just a scary story to scare kids reviewed by Donovan Blair from United States on Dec.05.2011 It is refreshing to see this essay. For hundreds of years, gullible sheep have swallowed the story whole. What it reminds me of most is the allegations of witchcraft during the same period: thousands of women--and men--were tortured, "confessed," had wild stories told about them, and were burned alive by governments. Today we don't believe in witchcraft--so we know those were all lies. Why do we not suspect this about the Countess Bathory incident? The real story may have been that this widowed do-gooder took in and protected too many female victims of assault, rape, and attempted murder, the king owed her too much money, and she knew the secrets of too many aristocrats. It is significant that the rumors and the accusations didn't start until AFTER she was widowed. What if she WAS innocent? Then the accusations, the tortures and deaths of her friends, and her own brutal imprisonment were a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. Shame on the mobs who continue to this day to believe everything which they are spoonfed. reviewed by Chaya from United States on Nov.01.2011 Scary to see some of the reactions here . Discomforting that most of u are getting off on the idea being related to a psycho .Actually I think its sad and kind a gives ur level of intelligence away doesn't it ? (Just wondering seeing a lot of u are turning her in to a heroine ) I find her most interresting too for various reasons but lets not forget what she is . Might as wel put every other murderer on a pedestal too . this is ridiculous . reviewed by Colet A from Belgium on Oct.19.2011 One last thing Erzebet Bathory was never convicted of anything. Mathais was attempting to have her tried for 80 murders. Thurzo, her son Paul, and son in law prevented it, had herplaced her first under house arrest then eventually was walled up in her home at Csejthe. Though she was stripped of her title, Thurzo who was her cousin, Paul, and Nicklos managed to retain the Bathory fortune. As part of the bargain, Mathais debt was relieved. reviewed by Dani from United States on Oct.07.2011 I recommend everyone expand their resources beyond Wikipedia. It is sad that all the info isn't in one place Bathory and her accomplices murdered hundreds between 1585 - 1610. Nobility at the time could get away with murder. As long as the victims "didn't count." This includes a multitude of abuses toward servants which were a common practice at the time. King Mathias II owed Nadasdy a lot of money in both loans & wages. Money he could not pay back. Even after Ferencz death the debt ought to have been paid to Elizabeth. This made Magyari's complaints "convenient." Note to the author: keep investigating and expand the biography please! reviewed by Dani from United States on Oct.07.2011 All information gathered against the Countess was gathered under torture. The King owed her family money. The Catholics were trying to get rid of the Protestants (bathory's were protestants) You didn't do very much research, you just regurgitated the info that everyone else can find on their own. How about you actually do some real research... you told one side of the story which is 400 years old.... reviewed by Amber from United States on Aug.31.2011 Great article...very informative and non-biased. However, though her crimes were real and backed up by over 300 witnesses the one question most in doubt is her "blood baths" and whether they occured or not. Court testimony proves that though a bath of blood did not occur, she did sit on a stool beneath a cage lined with spikes and holding a nude girl while shouting obsceneties and enjoying a "blood shower". Since such atrocities were considered witchcraft it was covered up by her family to lessen the severity of the sentence. As it was, she was convicted of "inhuman cruelty" instead of being burned at the stake as was her accomplises. I also cannot see the point of her Ladyship switching to the lesser nobility unless it was to "bathe" in blue blood, as the "poor" blood had not done anything to slow her aging. reviewed by dieblutegraf from United States on Jul.17.2011 It's funny how so many people seemed to be related to Elizabeth in the comment section! Astonishing really. I'm doing an essay on Elizabeth at the moment, proving that Elizabeth is a true villain in our history though I do have some compassion for the woman. Also, some people below mentioned that Elizabeth never bore any children.. Elizabeth firstly had a child to a peasant man which was given away when Elizabeth was 14 years old. With her husband, she had five children though two of them died early and only the three (two daughters and a son) were recorded throughout history. Great article! reviewed by Celeste from Australia on Jun.05.2011 Just watched the Bathory movie, with Anna Friel. It made her out to be the unfortunate victim of greed and that she was framed for the murders. The movie didn't even end with her being imprisoned. Personally I felt a bit cheated. The true story is probably somewhere in between the two extremes. There was definitely good reason for Gyorgy Furzo (and the King)to take possession of her lands and have their debts forgiven. Sadly we will never know the true story, which will remain a fascination of history. reviewed by Steve from Australia on May.09.2011 i really dnt see one women doing that. she could of but wheres the proof? exactly! and just because she was friends with a women doesnt mean there was a relationship!really? i think she was set up by someone or she knew who the real murderer was and didnt say!alas we will never know!.... reviewed by sarah from United States on Apr.23.2011 i think that people need to stop fighting over it because no one nows what is true because it was long ago everyone is just wasting there time fighting over it no one will ever now what really happened unless some one invents time travel reviewed by sam from Canada on Apr.20.2011 I'm doing this topic for a research paper and after reading about twenty website papges with about the same information about the crimes Elizabeth Bathory supposedly committed, I'm having trouble finding information about the possibility of Bathory being innocent. The information provided here is great, but it is one-sided and the other side is what I would like to have. So far I've found only two websites that mention that she is innocent (one being a brief sentence in wikipedia and the other being an unreliable source that talks about how the information about Bathory's alleged crimes were coming from biased sources). I would like to know about the possibility that Bathory was convicted of the crimes because of her religion, or politics, or was she at the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up with a conspiracy. I personally do not have an opinion if she is guilty or innocent, but I would like there to be more information that tells both sides of the story so readers can decide and students, like me, can use the information given to write a research paper. If anybody knows of such a website with the information I need please direct me to it. Another note: this page could have so much more information about the side of the story it does tell. It could mention the various ways the victimns were tortured in more detail, it could mention that the testimonies given about Bathory were received under methods of torture and could be exaggerated, it could talk a little more about the various possibilities of what the actual number of victimns were, and etc. This website is like a summary compared to everything else I've read. It's still a reliable resource in my opinion. reviewed by Sierra from United States on Mar.14.2011 Wow! interesting i must say, but after reading these comments, it seems like half the world are related to Elizabeth Bathory, and how do you know if your related to her or not reviewed by Lauryn from United States on Mar.11.2011 Amazing story but not enough evidence to say guilty or inoccent. How can you love or hate someone you know nothing about? People need to stop idolizing a story. reviewed by Vivian from United States on Mar.07.2011 Excuse me bj moore, bathory barred 3 children with her husband. One son, and two daughters. Her son wrote a letter to the courts begging for her pardon and that letter to this day is held in the hungary historical society reviewed by Frantz from United States on Jan.10.2011 I don't think anyone really knows the truth except Elizabeth and God. But I'm sure I'm related to her also. Probably a great, great, great, great, cousin or something. reviewed by sandy C from United States on Dec.31.2010 I love everything bout elizabeth bathory. she was a sick person but awesome 2 learn bout. i saw dis movie "stay alive" and it had elizabeth bathory reviewed by Rachael from United States on Oct.29.2010 Lizzie B. is one crazed fruit loop and I pray that God has mercy on her soul. This woman has serious metal health issues. A lesson to be learned from the countess, you cant change what is eventually going to happen. We all gotta go. reviewed by Nya from Japan on Oct.27.2010 Interesting for anyone to claim "heir" to a woman who had no children! [#8 especially]Having a child would have ruined her figure and beauty. Perhaps you missed the part where she MURDERED young women for their blood. Would in the name of stupid, do you think she would do with an infant! How very, very sad to think that an inbred, sadistic woman [or man for that matter] is in anyway a Heroine/hero. Grow-up, get an education and stop watching Jerry Springer! Thanks goodness Canadians' never lower themselves to this level of mud wallowing. reviewed by B.J. Moore from Canada on Oct.25.2010 First of all, all the American comments claiming to be the descendant of Erzsébet Báthory should prove their claims or stop lying. I can prove that one of my best friends is a TRUE DIRECT descendant of the Countess through DNA matches. Erzsébet Báthory was not a murderess, the trial was not legal and the evidence was primarily rumours and hearsay cooked up to give Thurzo a reason/justification to gain the Countess' lands and wealth. She was simply the victim of greed and power amongst the nobility of the region. Also the Habsburgs wanted a Catholic Habsburg bastion against the Ottoman Turks and Erzsébet Báthory, being a woman and a Protestant, proved to be an obstacle needing removing, so the charges of witchcraft and bathing in blood were created to this end. Thanks to her accusors, Countess Erzsébet Báthory has become eternally linked to vampires and murder. I feel nothing but pity and sorrow that she was treated harshly and ostracised. My friend's family is proud of her ability to look after the lands she controlled and are angry at those who wish to get attention by leeching onto the lady, who in my eyes, was more important to Hungary than the Habsburgs because she proved that being a woman did not mean that she couldn't do a man's job. Rest in peace Erzsébet Báthory. For those of you who are going to call me sick for supporting Erzsébet Báthory, why don't you look through the lies and the smoke and see the truth about her. It will really make you see the real Erzsébet Báthory and her true legacy. reviewed by Dominic from United Kingdom on Sep.24.2010 Is it just me, or has it struck everyone else that pretty much everyone fascinated with this woman has major spelling and grammatical challenges? I wonder if the facts are by any chance related? reviewed by Liam from United States on Sep.16.2010 Looking at both sides of the coin, i think that the countess was stitch up by the king. May god bless her, and he rot in hell. Love you lots Liz.X reviewed by Garry Sanders from United Kingdom on Aug.20.2010 I think All your accusation to Elizabeth Bathory is not true.she's a good mother to her child...she's fashionate,she loves nature and she loves GOD....she's a good person....for me Elizabeth beeng a single mother ,,she cant do nomore power and influense outside her castle.for me they forced Elizabeth to bring her down and destroy.For me ...I think all the evidence is fake and manipulated.and for me i think the one who manipulated is also in the higher possision of there goverment in that time.all the witness they killed sentense to death."dead man can't sing a story"so they sentence to death....dont just look to the cover of the book then shoot.much better find out what is real and the true consiquence...Elizabeth Bathory is a good person ,shes a good mother and shes a good leader of her people...and the last she love good.she has a fear in GOD so she cant do all the accusation to her.Now all of you think now ! reviewed by Richard IV from United Kingdom on Aug.01.2010 what she did was horribly wrong. but weirdly i have to forgive her cause she is family. reviewed by Jesse S. from United States on Jul.27.2010 i cant believe some of the comments on this page. i think most of you live in a fantasy world it seems half of america think they are related to this woman, not something i would be proud of. reviewed by karen from United Kingdom on Jun.14.2010 I'm glad that Elizabeth Bathory is NOT alive today. reviewed by Alicia from United States on May.11.2010 Those without sin, cast the first stone! This woman had a reason for her actions and in that day and time it was normal. Just to let you know that ancestors of this woman moved to the United States and went by the name Bathrow and later Ponthieux. Stop your cruel remarks cause you know nothing of this woman. She was not a christian but a Spiritual woman. She was also passionate and she is to this day respected by her family. May she rest in peace! reviewed by RJ from United States on Apr.16.2010 she is my great great great great aunt reviewed by Elizabeth from United States on Apr.12.2010 Lizzie B is amazing only 2nd to Vlad. her only fault was that she killed women instead of men reviewed by Kay from United Kingdom on Apr.05.2010 wow it's just gross isn't it reviewed by jyaureissah from United States on Mar.20.2010 my point is im fascinated with her and how she could do such a thing my mothers side of my family is from bratislava and thought since i look like her and was born the same day she died that im her reincarnation but im not worried about it i just stare into her pictures an think what luck i have that im not like here reviewed by amanda from United States on Mar.10.2010 I admit that the story is fascinating , however knowing that this is true makes Elizabeth of Bathory a sick and disgusting woman as well as all her disciples. Katarina and Elizabeth should have been tortured as they did their victims. reviewed by Nik & Tam from Trinidad and Tobago on Jan.26.2010 My point goes firstly to the film maker herself, Julie who did a great artistic introspective, enough satisfied to the historical side of a story, a deep connaissance of a personality of nobless and aristocracy. Secondly I would like to declare that some of the comments above (from Argentina, par exp.) strongly expresses human's stupidity of unconcious and incapacity of a perspective that needs a deep view. Thirdly my feelings and intuitive side tells that the countess was a victim of people's jelousy, lies, possessions, hunger, etc. She WAS a real nobel, an intelligence and its incarnation, a beautiful woman and she BECAME an example of a cruelity which is easily recognized by the chain of her life events. I think the view could not be eaily seen, but understood. We still, thanks God, have good films that needs an intellectual perception and not just "coke-and-a popcorn-visitors"... Thanks, Julie. reviewed by Simonetta from Zimbabwe on Jan.07.2010 There is still so much to know before taking a side. Elizabeth Bathory has been dead for many years and the story behind what truly happened was most likely altered through time into great great scary stories to tell around the camp fire. If This is what she and her servants did to these girls than yes she has done horrible things but I have read many stories where normal everyday people have done worse crimes for example John Wayne Gacy, Jr was a serial killer in the 1900s who had two lives one was a great business man and loving father and the other was a deranged man who kiddnaped 30 year old men, drugged them, rapped them,killed them, and then cut them up and hid them under his floor boards and nobody even knows his name. So before we can start saying look this girlwho we cant acturly prove killed up to 50 people and the rumers that were spread up to 600 or more people and say your evil burn in hell if we cant even look at the killers today and remember there their names after watching the daily news channel. Its just plain stuipidy reviewed by ona from United States on Dec.14.2009 Ok people, lets all keep in mind that this happened close to 400 years ago.. The facts and what really happened have been tainted with time and cruel people.. I agree, she probably did do some grizzly things, but back than where she was from, this was normal. I believe that it was purely political and they wanted her enormous wealth and lands... reviewed by ELISE from United States on Nov.04.2009 Elizabeth Bathory is for me, an enigma. I can argue all of the evidence both ways... towards her guild or toward her innocence. On the one hand, the testimony from the servants is useless in its entirety. They were tortured beyond the standards even of sixteenth century Europe to obtain confessions. Many of the things in their confessions are ridiculous by modern standards; satan apparently sat in her lap, she had the power to call 99 cats to defend her against all comers, etc ad nauseum. The reports of the people who arrested her are conflictory; on the one hand some of them claim there was nothing unusual at the castle. On the other hand, there were reports (from the same group of people) that there were multiple young girls in various and sundry states of torture and decomposition. It is hard to say which is true. The "bathing in blood" thing is absolutely unbelievable, given the amount of blood it would require to fill a bath tub and the fact that it was never even mentioned until a hundred years after the fact. Some of the charges against her seem almost consistent with her innocence. It has been suggested that she had actually tried to help several young girls who were afflicted by various diseases and illnesses. The part about freezing them in the winter might well be consistent with tactics then used to reduce fever. Bathory was also accused of "engaging in surgery", from the perspective of sadistic torture, yet it would be consistent with trying to deal with complications of some then prominent illness. Likewise, bloodletting was commonly practiced at that time in order to heal the sick. Each of these things might easily have been exaggerated by a zealous prosecutor, free to engage of torture of the witnesses, into something far more heinous than it actually was. Bathory was a Protestant woman living in a Catholic Kingdom. She was owed a significant debt by the King. These factors make her the perfect victim of a lynching brought about for political purposes. Red accounts of other witch trials and accusations and you will find that many innocent people faced horrible ordeals at the hands of the authorities, often brought about by political motivations far less important than hers. I am not sure that the woman was truly innocent, but I am far from certain that she was guilty either. One of the great travesties in history is that we sometimes tend to blame victims of social injustice rather than learn the truth. In the case of Elizabeth bathory, we will never know for certain whether she was a victim or monster. However, the charges laid at her door are far enough outside the realm of normalcy that they should certainly be eyed with at least a modicum of skepticism. reviewed by Bobo from United States on Oct.05.2009 I've been searching all over to find proof of a connection between Vlad Dracul and Elizabeth Bathory. People keep saying Stephen aided Vlad in regaining his throne. Well, she had a cousin Stephen, born in 1533, and Vlad died in 1476; her uncle, Stephen's father, was ALSO Stephen, and he was born in 1477, still not back far enough. So are we saying there are three generations of Stephens, all were lucky enough to become royalty, and Elizabeth's great great uncle aided Vlad Dracul in battle, or are we just trying desperately to fit two people who have similar interests together that lived a hundred years apart? reviewed by Cory from United States on Aug.03.2009 Im related to Elizabeth Bathory reviewed by Stebo from United States on Jul.16.2009 I am related to Elizabeth The blood bathing may have worked I do not age like others :D and yes the rest of my family look young too.. reviewed by Roxy from Canada on Jun.10.2009 well i think she was cool kind of i men ive never heard of someone who has killed sooo many people for so long without geeting caught for so long she was good but i think the only way we will truly ever know the truth about her is to ask her ourselves reviewed by sheania from United States on Jun.08.2009 well my opinion was she was brought up the way she is . ive read many bio's about the countess and her family was sick and twisted like her obviously when she was a child she whitnessed many things so this made her who shes was a sick twisted bitch reviewed by anthony sanchez from United States on Apr.17.2009 I think Countess Elizabeth Bathory is not a crazy person she just wanted to look beautiful i guess she needed love and have somebody tell her she was beautiful. Afther her husband died she didnt had much of attention thats why. But i dnt blame her. But it was wrong killing over 600 women or girls, she would at least find something else that makes her skin smooth. But it was wrong choice of punishment for Elizabeth they would at least try to make everthing right. Not just lock her up in a tower, poor lady i wonder what she did inside of her room not even touching the food. And poor child had suffered for not having a mother or a father there to take care of him. reviewed by Diana Luna from United States on Apr.15.2009 I honestly think that Countess Elizabeth is fasinating! she is so intriguing the way that her mind worked, i love it! She is honestly amazing to me, i mean wat she did was unforgivable, but than again, fasinating reviewed by Samantha Ringer from United States on Apr.07.2009 What other "stories", or "Myths" are there that are as sick and ill as this story?? reviewed by drew from United States on Mar.07.2009 i can say that, elizabeth gives a vibrant turning point;in such a way, that this lady stretch away our perception of western nobility that is humane,educated,strict upholding and very meticulated point of view in self presentation,(for them,carry their own family name)into what! a very horrific,paranormalise,awful,unearthly tortured way that only a psychotic,having a obsession in blood or what we call psychological vampirism that can be rooted deeply in childhood years( maybe because in his childhood years, thre family was in a battle againts turks, that makes her EXPOSED in blood as a sign of victory and reverence),in bloodline sickness(malajustment that can be past genetically.. but in our own imagination of superb human or elemental realms with or without any identical facts, this story give us chill and tickles our mind.importantly, this gives us idea that there is possibility in our world that no one can give a relevant answer in order to give clariffication in the centerde issue. reviewed by albus from United Kingdom on Feb.22.2009 I think she is interesting, Not interesting as in I want to marry her or any of the ridiculous stuff anyone else wants to do, but interesting in the fact that hearing about the stories of her burning the girls(down below) that she tortured with a candle flame or tearing chunks of the flesh from their faces off, and in one instance making one of her victims cook and devour a strip of the victim's own flesh, it just really makes you think what was she thinking what was going on in her head. On other occasions servants handled her dirty work, while Erzsebet yelled "More, More Still, harder still", until she was overwhelmed with excitement, and fainted into unconsciousness on the floor,It seems as if she got some kind of orgasmic pleasure out of seeing people Writh in pain, To me What went on in this women's mind is enough to write million's of books. Although I DO NOT think it is wise to have her as an idol, The people who seem to worship her just want attention, in a way that attention should not be sought, get a life seriously reviewed by Sarah from United States on Jan.31.2009 Its been proven through many historical documents and family documentation that Elizabeth did kill many of the servant girls working for her.Through the years historians believe that she herself was from a young age to be very transfixed by blood and vanity.There was an early account of her as a child killing her families pets as a form of amusement.Her family records prove it. reviewed by Elle from United States on Jan.11.2009 the human body contains six quarts of blood.which totals about 1.5 fluid would take several people completely drained to fill a bath tub of those days. Research my friend Research. reviewed by richard from United States on Jan.11.2009 the human body contains approx six quarts of blood.which totals 1.5 fluid would take the blood of several people,completely drained,to fill a tub of those days. there is no evedence to support the claim as well. no mention in the documents from the only started to be gossiped about after her death. reviewed by richard from United Kingdom on Jan.11.2009 sorry but some of you people need to do some research. yes,she may have been behind the killings of some of her servants but 600+? and its NOT true she bathed in blood. there is NO prove. its a nice legend for horror fans but not true. she did get blood on her self during the torture of her servents (in those days if a servant was lazy or that servant stole the punishment was severe,even if thay died) but a bath would take 30 or more persons blood to fill and by then it would be conjilled. maybe a cup in her bath water we will never know. just please see through the lies and think for yourselfs (after a lot of reseach). the hungarian king owed her husband a lot of money. and when he died she insisted he give it back. he did not have it to give. it would have been an embarrisment to the country. (think the ueen oweing david beckham money!) so how better to get rid of the debt than to blow things out of context? yes she did kill some servants during punishments but so did a lot of nobles in eastern europe. but 600+? bath in there blood? no. she did not. reviewed by RiChArD from United Kingdom on Jan.02.2009 oh my god you people really think that she's back and she's in america...?! i think she died and she will never come back and if she would she would be in hungary coz this is her country and you americans want to take her from here how envy you are i cant believe it. it makes me nervous... reviewed by vir·g from Hungary on Dec.25.2008 I Love This Story! Elizabeth was an amazing woman. even though she was messed up in the head. reviewed by ville from United States on Dec.03.2008 I think she was a messed up girl with serious problems mentally. I guess people then didnt have mirrors because she was ugly.LOL. reviewed by gabriella from United States on Dec.02.2008 I Absolutly love this story. Elizabeth Must Of Been Really Messed Up To Do what She Did. As Soon As I Saw The Movie Stay Alive And Heard About Elizabeth I Wanted To Reserch Her And I Did.My Question Would Be Why On Eath Would She Think That Young Girls Blood Made Her Look Younger?? reviewed by Jenn from Canada on Nov.19.2008 I love the story about ELIZABETH BATHORY. Is it true that she is in America or THATS ONLY A STORY?? Bcuz I've seen the MOVIE "Stay Alive". I dont know if she's in America. I wish I have a time machine and I could go to her Time so that I can see what her face is.. if she is beautiful or not and to know why she killed those innocent young and virgin woman and the girls. reviewed by Jessa Angela from Philippines on Nov.01.2008 As many have told and heard the tale of Erzebet Bathory I have many reasons to believe her to have been a bloody ruler who used fear to her advantage, so she thought but we never will really know. I like to think she had a kinder side though for my families sake. reviewed by Zachary T Millar from United States on Oct.30.2008 the blood countess did what she did because she wanted to b beautiful forever and when she felt the blood of he virgin maid on her skin, her skin felt soft so she started to abduct virgin girls and bleed them dry while they were alive that is y Elizabeth did what she did reviewed by Artyom (Artem) from Canada on Oct.25.2008 This lady is freaky why would she do something to these poor innocent young girls and women.I think she is psycho, i am a virgin an if someone killed me just because i am they are sick and i hope they go to hell forever. reviewed by Rebecca Collins from United States on Oct.21.2008 I think she was accused wrongly. Who knows maybe she had a really good reason for killing the girls. Idk. I love reading about Elizabeth. I find her story and her life catchy. reviewed by Angela from United States on Oct.06.2008 I'm not sure why people keep going on about how she is 'crazy' and 'insane'. Of course she was, I assumed this much would be obvious, she was inbred... Instead of her body being deformed, her mind was more twisted than others... Personally I find her fascinating, she was an incredibly powerful woman. (And I believe there is laws about marrying someone centuries long dead. And she is obviously not back in America.) reviewed by from Australia on Oct.04.2008 I have currently been researching the blood countess for a university project and have found some interesting books that contain official documents of the time. these argue her possible innocence and betrayal from Thurzo over politics and land. As you would know hungary was at war and times were pretty brutal reviewed by person from Australia on Oct.02.2008 i can't belive this why would anyone do this. i have the movie and now looking in on this helps me better under stand it more. i just hope when peopel read this they know what it is. Because this is not a game of life... well not for them girl (i feel real bad now) im glad now i know and not later in life... RIGHT people all should know... well anyways i hope its all go over one day... just not know ... reviewed by Cody from United States on Oct.01.2008 Elizabeth is crazy, I must admit. But she is a piece of work. There is many stories about her. And this is about the third one I have read today. They all have different point of views and what not, but this one is quite good. This is going to sound weird, but I would like to go back and she how she was and things she did, without her knowing I was there of course. This is a pretty interesting story. reviewed by Aspen from United States on Sep.24.2008 I have researched Elizabeth Bathory and her cousin Gabor Bathory, as well as the rulers Vlad II and Vlad III who came before the former and on which the Dracula tales a heavily derived from. I am writing a new book about the Bathory family but much more so than that. I'm writing that the Habsburg Family, rulers of Austria, and the Bathory Family, rulers of Hungary, are actually two differents sects of Vampire who have descended from the blood thirsty Druids of the 900 A.D. when the Romans first came to England. If you have any comments, I'd welcome them. reviewed by Jonathan from United States on Sep.11.2008 killing one person is crazy enough, but six hundred and something is just plain bewildering... reviewed by josie from United States on Sep.05.2008 She's a murderer! Her family fought to uphold Christianity against the Turks so she must have known what she was doing was WRONG! What a sick individual. reviewed by BeltaineBabe from Canada on Aug.31.2008 It is common to think that Elizabeth Bathory bathed in her victims blood, but that could very well be legend what we know is that she did kill many women. There is a lot of fact mixed in with fiction just like any other story this old so we may never know the truth.The story of Elizabeth is so intriguing to me because it took place at an age when doing anything out of the ordinary was considered witchcraft.and you were tortured and killed anyway if someone didn't like you, even if you were innocent. reviewed by lazsia from United States on Aug.09.2008 Also, there's a new book out about Elizabeth Bathory, in case you're interested. It's called, "Bathory: Memoir of a Countess" and the ISBN is 1439201749. reviewed by Beth McDaniel from United States on Aug.06.2008 Elizabeth Bathory is a piece of work. She may have been a murderer, a serial killer, and just plain crazed , but in actually she was just trying to cure aging like almost all women do now. Many people have fetishes. Some vulgar, some very unusual, and some that are just plain incredible. Elizabeths fetishes fell intothe incredible category. Her main issue was that no one told her no. I believe that she was a ela live vampire and should forever be remembered reviewed by Raven from United States on Jul.31.2008 ELIZABETH IS SCARY! reviewed by KARREN from United States on Jul.13.2008 Restaurants (9)

A bibliography from a descendant

From Website created by an ancestor. There are very good graphics including photos of her Castle and of her portraits. Print •Ammer, Vladímir. Cachtice. Bratislava: Alfa-Press, 1997. •Baker, Scott. Ancestral Hungers. (fiction) New York: Tor Books, 1995. •Baring-Gould, Sabine. The Book of Werewolves. Orig. London: Smith Elder, 1865. repr. New York: Causeway Books, 1973. •Bathory Al Babel, Gia. The Trouble with the Pears (fiction) Bloomington, Ind.: Authorhouse, 2006. •Bloodcult, The: The Magazine for Dark Souls and Vampire Lovers. Crete: The Nocturnal Summoning V.S., 2001 •Burtinshaw, Julie: Romantic Ghost Stories. Edmonton, Alberta: Ghost House Books, 2003. Contains "Love Gone Astray: Castle Csejthe, Hungary" •Cachtice 1248-1998. Multimediálne CD o obci Cachtice. Nové Mesto: Visgra s.r.o., 1998. •Canale, Ray. Nightfall: The Blood Countess. (fiction) Paperback Audio, 1990 (text) 1998 (recording). •Carillo, Carlos. Para Tenerlos Bajo Llave. (fiction) 1994. (Contains Legado de los Carpatos). •Codrescu, Andrei. The Blood Countess. (fiction) (manuscript); publ. New York: Dell, 1996. •Craft, Kimberly L. Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. [n.p.], 2009. •de Heus, Hanna. Erzsébet. (fiction) Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Podium, 1998. •Elsberg, R. von. Elizabeth Bathory (Die Blutgräfin). Breslau, 1894; 1904 (new version?) •Glut, Donald F. True Vampires of History. New York: HC Publishers, 1971. •Farin, M. Heroine des Grauens. Wirken und Leben der Elizabeth Báthory. Munich, 1989. •Farkas, I. Cséthe vár véres asszonya (Báthory Erzsébet töténete). Budapest, 1936. •Glut, Donald F. The Dracula Book. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J.: 1975 Republished as The Truth About Dracula, New York: Stein and Day. •Hayes, Bill. Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005. •Kocis, Jozef. Alzbeta Báthoryová a palatín Thurzo: Pravdo a cachtickej panej. Vydavatel'sto Blaha, 1996. •London, Sondra. True Vampires: Blood-Sucking Killers Past and Present. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2004. •McNally, Raymond T. Dracula Was a Woman. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983. •Manguel, Alberto, ed. Other Fires. (fiction) New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1986. (Contains The Bloody Countess by Alejandra Pizarnik) •Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1994. •Mickael-Mitchell, Ariane. La Joconde Sanglante. (fiction) Toulon: Les Presses Du Midi, 2009. •Mordeaux, A. Bathory: Memoir of a Countess (fiction) Charleston SC: BookSurge Publishing, 2008. •Newton, Michael. Bad Girls Do It! Port Townsend, Washington: Loompanics Unlimited, 1993. •Niznánsky, Jozo: Cachtická Pani. Bratislava: L Mazac Praba, ? •Penrose, Valentine. Erzsébet Báthory, La Comtesse Sanglante. Paris, 1962. Eng. trans. The Bloody Countess. London, 1970. New edition: Creation Books, 2000. •Pérez, Carlos D.: Siete Lunas de Sangre. (fiction) Buenos Aires: Topía Editorial, 1999. •Perisset, Maurice. La Comtesse de Sang: Erzsebeth Bathory. Paris: Pygmalion, 1975. •Peters, Robert. The Blood Countess. Cherry Valley, N.Y.: Cherry Valley Editions, 1987. •Pirrotta, Luciano: Erzsébet Báthory: Una Visione - Incubo Rosso (play). [no city], Italy, Sallustiana, 2003. •Requiem: Archives du vampirisme Montpellier: Cercle d'Études Vampiriques, 1998. •Rexa, Dezso. Báthory Erzsébet Nadasdy Ferencne. Budapest, 1908. New version? •Ronay, Gabriel. The Truth About Dracula. London: Gallancz, 1972. Repr. New York: Stein and Day, 1972. •Seabrook, William. Witchcraft. New York: Harcourt, 1940. Repr. New York: Lancer Books, 1968. •Szádeczky-Kardos, I. Báthory Erzsébet igazsá 1983. •Thorne, Tony: Children of the Night: of Vampires and Vampirism. London: Indigo, 2000. •Thorne, Tony: Countess Dracula. The life and times of the Blood Countess, Elisabeth Bathory. London: Bloomsbury, 1997. •Turoczi, Lászlo. Báthory Erzsébet. Budapest, 1744. New version? Eng. trans? •Turoczi, Lászlo. Ungaria suis cum regibus compendia data. Nagyszombat, 1729. New version? Eng. trans? •Twiss, Miranda: The Most Evil Men and Women is History. London: Michael O'Mara Books, 2002. •Wagener, Michael. Beiträge zur Philosophischen Anthropologie. Vienna, 1796. New version? Eng. trans? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Electronic Bathory sites move around so quickly it's almost impossible to keep up with them. Of my two dozen original links, all have expired, and I have some new ones. Send them along, please. I give preference to authoritative sites and certainly non-anonymous ones. (Updated April 18, 2010) •The best online bibliography: Melinda K. Hayes: Vampiri Europeana: Elisabeth Bathory •J. N. W. Bos: Erzsébet of Transylvania •Sabrina Cox: Csejthe Castle •Gilbert Geras: Photos of Csejthe Castle •Melinda K. Hayes: Vampiri Europeana, or, A Bibliography of Non-English European Resources on Vampires in Literature, Folklore, and Popular Culture •K. Hoffman: The Blood Countess, Erzabet Bathory of Hungary •Jerome C. Krause: Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory •Elizabeth Miller: Dracula's Homepage •"Elric Warrior" (pseud): Erzsébet Bathory •Zordan Zandor: Elisabeth Bathory •Anonymous: [Untitled Erzsébet Biography] •Vilnius Library Manuscripts, including Bathory decrees. •Vampires: Origins of the Myth, Part 6 -- The Blood Countess •alt.vampyres newsgroup homepage •Pathway to Darkness vampire resource site •Andrei Codrescu Home Page --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, May 21, 2012

Writing World; Free to Share

I post this free to share newsletter on all of my blogs. Erzebet inspires many works of music and literature; read below; you never know if you might like to add to the EB Canon. W R I T I N G W O R L D A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World Issue 12:10 13,183 subscribers May 17, 2012 ***************************************************************** MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors. ***************************************************************** IN THIS ISSUE: ================================================================= THE EDITOR'S DESK: Whether to Be Rich, Enriched, or Enriching... by Moira Allen THE WRITER'S DESK: Resale Rights, by Moira Allen NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES FEATURE: 7 Reasons Why Writers Should Blog, by Jennifer Brown Banks THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers WRITING CONTESTS WITH NO ENTRY FEES The Author's Bookshelf **************************************************************** WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you can reach our web site, you can take our courses. ***************************************************************** WRITE FOR CHILDREN. Achieve your dream of becoming a published author. Writing books and stories for children is a great place to start. Learn the secrets 1-on-1 from a pro writer. Train online or by mail. Free Test offered. ***************************************************************** THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR: * Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write. * Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter. * Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing. ***************************************************************** DON'T GET SCAMMED! Choose the right Self Publishing Company for your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing company and the questions you should ask. ***************************************************************** EARN TOP DOLLAR WITH SKILLS YOU ALREADY HAVE... And Finish Your Novel, Too! What if this year you could honestly call yourself an author because you could support yourself and your family? Details Here: ***************************************************************** FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK ================================================================= Whether to Be Rich, Enriched, or Enriching... --------------------------------------------- I've just finished one of those "how to get rich" books, and it seems to have brought out my inner curmudgeon. The book was "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," by Robert Kiyosaki -- and if wealth is your goal, I honestly can't say that I recommend it. It did make one point I agree with, however: That the U.S. educational system (and, I assume, the educational systems of most of the rest of the world) do not prepare people for independent thinking, but rather, trains folks to be employees whose primary purpose is to build wealth for OTHER people. Kiyosaki describes this, appropriately, as "the rat race" -- and it's certainly the rat race that many of us became freelance writers to avoid. What kept me grumbling throughout the book, however, was the persistent emphasis on a single goal: Making more money. To Kiyosaki, it would seem, building wealth is all -- wealth for himself, wealth to pass on to his children. And by "wealth" he means, simply, money. As a writer, I can't help but think that this is a limited, and rather sad, perspective on life. "Wealth" is a word that has been used, historically, to mean far more than the amassment of material riches. Can we be wealthy, without being rich? I suspect that if the majority of folks who consider themselves "writers" chose this profession, or avocation, with the sole purpose of amassing material wealth, the readership of this newsletter would be down to about two. Not that there aren't plenty of us seeking to earn a living through our words. But most of us, I think, didn't choose writing as a tool to make loads MORE money than, say, data entry or real estate. Most of us chose it because we found a wealth in words that outweighs the wealth of a steady paycheck. I suspect that most of us became writers because we recognized how, throughout our lives, we have been enriched by words. We were the oddballs in school who actually LIKED books. We looked forward to reading; in fact, our parents and teachers probably despaired of ever getting us to STOP reading. "Put down that book and go outdoors and play!" we were told. (How many of us "complied" by smuggling a book outdoors with us?) Our peers regarded us as nerds, brainiacs, social outcasts -- but we'd already discovered a world so far beyond that which our peers valued that we didn't care (much). Books became our friends, our doorways to worlds real and imagined, our inspiration. They made us rich in spirit. Gradually, as we began to spin our own words, we realized that what we had received, we could also give. Through our words, we could influence, inspire, and inform. Through articles, stories, poetry and books, we could enter do for others what generations of authors, past and present, had done for us. WE could enrich the world with OUR words, just as our own worlds had been enriched by the words of others. Does it matter, in the long run? Let's try a little test. First -- quickly, now! -- rattle off the names of, say, ten or twelve of the richest men of the 19th century. No peeking at Wikipedia! OK, we have Rockefeller, DuPont, Astor, Schwab, Morgan, um... hang on... There were lots more, surely! (And I'm sure you probably came up with a longer list, or a different list, from mine.) Now... Quickly, again, rattle off the names of, say, a dozen great AUTHORS of the 19th (or even 18th) century. Again, no peeking at Wikipedia. Was it difficult to hit a dozen? Did you want to just keep on going? Did names come thick and fast? Twain, Dickens, Austen, Irving, Pushkin, Doyle, Harte, Bronte (plural), Sand, Eliot, Thackeray, Hugo, Baum, Carroll... Doesn't the list just go on and on? Again, you probably came up with a different list, a longer list... and that's precisely the point! Another interesting point: Money can only be measured in terms of money. One speaks of the "richest" men, not the "best" rich men or the "greatest" rich men. But when one speaks of authors, one speaks of the best, the greatest, the most inspiring, the most inspired. And here's yet another point: Money is measured in terms of quantity, i.e., who has the most? But greatness can be attained without extinguishing someone else's lamp. The greatness of Jane Austen doesn't diminish the greatness of Charles Dickens, or of Mark Twain, or of Arthur Conan Doyle. Likewise, it won't diminish yours, any more than yours will diminish theirs. Ironically, in the introduction to his book, Kiyosaki DOES list some of the richest men of America in the early 1920's, and then points out that by the end of the Depression, most of them were dead, many having committed suicide. (Another bit of irony is quite a number of the 19th century's richest men, and at least one famous author*, died on the Titanic...) It's a good illustration of the hard truth that if material wealth is all, then losing it truly means losing all. I'm certainly not saying that we, as writers, should not strive toward material gain. I'm not one of those who believes that to be paid for our words is, somehow, to have "prostituted" our art. I've always regarded that attitude as the excuse of someone who has no real interest in enriching others but prefers to say, "My work is so brilliantly obscure no one can appreciate it but me." On the contrary, I believe "the laborer is worth of his [and her] hire." There's absolutely nothing wrong with being materially enriched by a skill that brings so much into the lives of others. What I'm suggesting, and I suspect I'm preaching to the choir, is that while we are happy to earn the coin, we're in this for a great deal more. Those who are simply "rich" may make a splash in the here-and-now, but are quickly forgotten in the pages of history. Those who ENRICH are remembered, often for centuries -- even if they lived as paupers. And these are tough times for many authors, times when assignments and paychecks can be few and far between. Yet it's exactly at such times that we need to remember why we started down this road in the first place: Because we were far more interested in sharing the wealth of the rainbow than in hoarding the pot of gold. Every time you write something that helps someone learn, grow, heal, change, or simply smile, you've made someone's life richer. There's money and there's wealth -- and as a writer, you're storing up treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. *Jacques Futrelle, if anyone is wondering. -- Moira Allen, Editor Copyright 2012 Moira Allen ***************************************************************** THESE TWO FREE ISSUES ARE YOURS TO KEEP Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine editors, this monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of editors' wants and needs, market tips, and professional insights. Get 2 FREE issues to start. ***************************************************************** The Writing Desk: Resale Rights ================================================================= By Moira Allen Can I resell stories I previously sold with no contract? -------------------------------------------------------- Q: I wrote a continuing series of stories for a magazine, which they published and paid me for. I never was given or signed any contract, nor was anything mentioned about who owned the rights. Now I would like to sell the story series as a book. Is this permissible? Legal? Can the original publisher sue me? Should I ask their permission? A: Without a written contract to establish a publication's ownership of rights, rights are assumed to rest with the author. A publication cannot claim or assume to claim all rights, or some specific bundle of "extra" rights (such as anthology rights or electronic rights, which would be implied by the use you describe) without some form of prior agreement with the author. Nor can such an agreement be established after the fact -- i.e., after you've already sold the articles. A contract must precede a sale, as it is considered the agreement upon which a sale is based. Since you were not an employee of the magazine, they cannot claim that the material was "work for hire." Even if they have a policy statement listed somewhere (e.g., in their writers' guidelines) that claim particular rights, this is not necessarily legally binding (though at that point the magazine could claim that you "knew" of this policy before submitting material). In this case, you should not need to ask permission, as you hold the copyright to your articles. When no rights transfer is specified, you are assumed to have sold "first" or "one-time" rights, which leaves you the right to resell the material later. Out of courtesy, you may wish to note in your collection that these articles originally appeared in X magazine, but you don't need permission. If you feel uncomfortable about the magazine management's reaction, you may wish to let them know what you are doing, but not in such a way that could be construed as "asking permission." As for "could they sue?" -- Well, yes, anyone can sue if they want to, whether there is a legal basis or not. It would be unlikely, however. More probably, if they are really hardnosed, they might send you a letter from their lawyer saying that you shouldn't do this -- and the best response is to simply hire a lawyer for the purpose of answering that letter legally, spelling out your rights etc. But it is unlikely to come to that. The key to remember is that if you don't transfer rights in writing, you own them. Can I resell the original version of an article that was changed by the editor, even though I sold all rights? ------------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I recently wrote a piece for another magazine and sold all rights. The piece underwent drastic editing and the story that was published under my byline bore little resemblance to my original work. Can I legally sell the piece I wrote originally, since it's nothing like the piece they ran? In general, how much revision is necessary if you're reselling an idea that you've already written about? For example, can you use the same sources with different quotes? A: Yes, you can use the same sources; you can even use the same quotes. Basically, the idea is that the piece "looks" different enough that one would think it is not the same article. Just cutting often isn't enough; sometimes it's best to at least put a somewhat different slant on the piece. There's a difference here between "all rights" and "work for hire." All rights simply means that you have relinquished the rights to that piece, as it was written. However, you still retain the copyright itself. When you sell a work-for-hire piece, you are relinquishing your copyright as well -- and so you're in a little more danger if you try to write a similar piece. If you write a piece that is similar to one you sold for "all rights," the only copyright you might be infringing is your own -- i.e., even if you just went through and revised the article line-by-line, you'd only be infringing yourself. But if you did the same thing with a work-for-hire piece, you could be liable for infringing the copyright of the company that you sold the material to, because even though you wrote it, they own not just the article but the copyright as well. The issue of "how different is different enough" is very difficult to resolve. Again, essentially, it's "would you think this is a different article, on the same subject?" Or would the reader feel that he has read it somewhere else, with just a little different wording? (For more thoughts on the "how different is different enough" question, see my editorial of April 5, 2012 - "The 20% Solution," at Copyright 2012 Moira Allen *************************************************************** AUTHOR SITES FOR LESS gives authors a virtual home without breaking the bank. Choose from a variety of author-specific, classy, and tailor-made templates starting at $399. We offer a choice of three plans. Our set-up enables you to update your site without needing a developer. Social media pages also available. Please visit ***************************************************************** NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING ================================================================= Are Writers About To Become Obsolete? ------------------------------------- This is an interesting but also scary news item from Wired magazine concerning a computer algorithm that is already being used to generate news stories. For more on this story, visit: British Book Seller Against Libraries Lending eBooks ---------------------------------------------------- This follows on in a very scary way from last issue's editorial by Moira. Apparently the Managing Director of Waterstones, a large chain of book stores in the UK, thinks that eBooks should not be lent by libraries as this will damage the book-selling industry. 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As such, writers can speak in a conversational tone, court controversy, experiment with different forms of expression, try their hand at humor, and discover what works best for their style, preference and personality. Blogging also allows you to address a multitude of topics, which can build your portfolio and your knowledge base. 3. It makes you more versatile as a writer. Search any of the current job boards for writers, and blog jobs are abundant. Regardless of your genre of specialization, having blogging skills simply makes you more marketable to editors, potential clients, and publishers. (Think along the lines of the value of speaking multiple languages.) Since my career in blogging started, I have blogged for businesses, dating sites, and online magazines. And you can too. 4. It creates more networking opportunities through guest posting. Guest posting is when a blogger writes a piece for another blog site, upon approval. Oftentimes this fosters working partnerships, mutual admiration, and future collaborative projects with fellow bloggers. It promotes good karma to boot. 5. It requires less research and typically takes less time than other genres. As they say, "Time is money." Usually blog posts run from 300-800 words, which means that good writers can construct posts relatively quickly, and work on more projects in a shorter span of time, increasing overall efficiency. Consider too that it can help to prevent burnout. 6. It can be more profitable than article-writing. Experience can vary. But depending upon the client, the nature of the project, and your blogging skills, pay can be around a hundred bucks for a 500-700 word post. 7. Blogging helps to develop a "thick skin". If you have difficulty with dealing with editors' rejections, blogging can help you to handle criticism and feedback better in your professional career. The interactive nature of blogging allows readers to express their views right on the spot, in the form of comments. Sometimes audience members can be like "hecklers" are with comedians. Comments can be cruel and unfair. But, it comes with the territory, and calls for the savvy blogger to "take the high road" and not personalize things. Here are a few Do's and Don'ts to go the distance: 1. Recognize that success as a writer today requires more than facility with words; it's about being strategic and smart. As such, do consider the many benefits blogging has to offer, and strive to add value to the blogging community. 2. Don't mistakenly believe that because blogging is considered informal writing, you should take a less than serious approach, or that your writing can be inferior in quality. Blogging can make or break your online image. 3. Study the habits and techniques of successful bloggers in your niche. What's their appeal? Their style? Their advice? Assess then apply. 4. Don't be discouraged if your blogging doesn't take off right away. It took me three attempts and several years before I got it right. "If at first you don't succeed..." 5. Newbies will find blogging platforms like and Wordpress to be easy to follow, with attractive designs and templates. Tutorials can be found online to master the learning curve. Blogging has become the new black. Even real estate tycoon, Donald Trump has his own "virtual spot." Don't miss out on the opportunity to make the most of your writing career. Blog your way to a bigger platform and bigger paydays with these timely tips. >>--------------------------------------------------<< Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, Pro blogger, and relationship columnist. Her guest posts and articles have appeared at award-winning sites such as: Pro Blogger, Daily Blog Tips, Technorati, Funds for Writers, and Men With Pens. She is also a Ghost Writer, providing web content and blog posts for busy professionals. 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I have just reformatted the book; if you have already purchased it, the revised version should upload automatically in the next few days. ***************************************************************** WRITING CONTESTS ================================================================= This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" ( RICHARD J. MARGOLIS AWARD ------------------------ DEADLINE: July 1, 2012 GENRE: Nonfiction DETAILS: This contest offers stipend and one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondacks for a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. 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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Through a Dark Looking Glass

On this, the anniversary of the deat of Anne Boleyn, another royal woman maligned by history, here is a link for Erzebe material: RIP Ladies.
I am up late and in a lot of pain from burning acid reflux. My cat, Miss Emma Gaga Bathory is next to me. She is snoozing very nicely; no nipping/gaga tonight. At a miniature show, we found some treasures for the MacFarlane doll/figure of Erzebet. My husband made her a bathroom, very tongue-in-cheek, this unrealistically glamorous little doll portrait of The Countess. The miniatures are anachronistic, in keeping with the doll itself, so I have a tiny bottle of deadly nightshade, a small dome of leeches, a vial of vampire blood, an intricate little syringe, a vintage box of toothpaste, a package of bologna, a vintage package of gauze bandages. All are tiny and 1 in to 1 foot scale. What fun!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

and, the completion.

then walk up the hill the rest of the way. Don't miss the museum. And while in town, visit the Bathory Pizzeria, which has good food of all kinds. Say hello to the Mayor. Go! Enjoy! (and read the 2001 and 2004 journals for more stories.) Updated May 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Is her story true? Yours? What was she like? It's mostly speculation. The few documents that exist are not available translated into a language I can read (alas, my Hungarian is limited to "köszönöm" and "jol" and "jo napot" and what I vaguely remember from my youth). Her diaries may be more fiction than fact. At least one person has told me that he has seen them and held them in his hands, and has relatives who can read them and have translated portions. Even that is not certain, because Erzsébet was known as "Hungary's national monster" -- a secret, a shame, not a national pride -- and to Slovaks, the "Tigress of Cséjthe". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Speaking of Slovaks, I'm Slovak and your site angers me. Why do you glorify her? I don't glorify her. However, I do find her among the most ambiguous and complex individuals imaginable: a mother, a Countess, a brilliant woman, a wife, polyglot, perhaps bisexual, Pagan, Christian, Muslim as the occasion demanded, political, beautiful, shrewd, ruthless, engaging -- and the murderer of hundreds by her own hand. It is astounding, fearsome, and perplexing to be part of the same species as this woman. I do find it perplexing, however, that four centuries later, ethnic groups hold blood grudges. These people are long dead, and even their ghosts are probably tired. But they make good opera. That I find intriguing, which is why some of my libretto reads like this: Who am I to sing. I cannot sing again. I am Erzsébet. I am Countess Báthory. I am a noblewoman. Countess. I am Countess Báthory-Nadasdy. Ferenc was my husband. I remember him. Where are my children? I am cold, not hungry, but cold--and sick. What language are you? My native Magyar? Perhaps German? Latin? Copernicus was my friend. And the King my cousin. I am the Countess. My children, where are they? The barbarians... I turned them back East, I turned them back West. My tongue negotiated, my hand signed. I turned back my enemies, and each others'. Where are my children? My servants are faithless. A few dead peasants. Anna, sing to me, to me sing. O Lord of Cats, sing to me. When I visited Cachtice, by the way, I spent time with townspeople and Mayor Istoková (see this page for a photo of her and historian Ammer). At a celebratory dinner, we made peace between the Báthory family and the townspeople that suffered under Castle Cséthe and the Blood Countess. Updated April 2003 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yeah, but why do you glorify her? Sigh. Look, who better to ask than the people of the town of Cachtice, which looks up at the castle and which lost so many of its children to the Countess? Well, I did that. At a gathering of townspeople, I asked Mayor Anna Istoková whether talking about Erzsébet or her crimes or writing an opera brought back resentments or hate. She laughed and said that the opera must premiere at the castle! And as for how they feel about the Countess? She grabbed my arm, gestured at the town prospering from the Countess's memory, and said "She is ours now!" Bravo, Anna! Updated June 2004 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That reminds me. Is the "Prayer of Erzsébet" for real? Probably. The original is said to have been Erzsébet's favorite, written in Slovak, and kept with her until the day she died. This was reported by the Reverend Ponikenusz, who was also reported (more third- and fourth-hand information) to have been a cold and harsh presence in Erzsébet's life. But the prayer (and the reportage) changed hands and was translated and republished several times, including in McNally (p.66), so its provenance is lost. It's the McNally version that I re-worked for poetic effect. It's powerful and moving, so whether it is really her prayer does not matter to me. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've learned so much about her from [insert book or website or film name here]. Probably you haven't learned much. Most of the books are guesswork. The best biography in modern times had been McNally's "Dracula Was a Woman", (see the bibliography), alas out of print, as the more recent "Countess Dracula" by Tony Thorne now appears to be. But everything is now changed. What you need to have are Infamous Lady and The Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory, both by Kim Craft. These are the real deal. Don't believe what you read in vampire books or encyclopedias, on the web (even here!), and especially in fiction like Pizarnik's "The Blood Countess", Perez's "Siete Lunas de Sangre" (published here) or Codrescu's "The Blood Countess". They're inventions -- good ones, but inventions nonetheless. Turoczi's 1744 book might help if you can find a translation. If it really matters to you, go out and do the legwork. Go to Cséthe, Sárvár, Keresztur, and read the few authentic scraps that remain. (By the way, I'd love to publish the entirety of McNally's out-of-print book here, but he did not respond to my requests, and rights reverted elsewhere upon his death.) Updated November 2011 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Speaking of films, why don't you talk about films or recordings? There haven't been especially good films. Except for Ingrid Pitt's Countess (and she could have used a better script), they are all badly acted gothic melodramas of the bathing-in-blood down-through-the-centuries story. Nothing comes close to the true history of the times or the brutality and madness and brilliance of Erzsébet. Even Juraj Jakubisko's attempt fails; read my review. (I have not yet seen Delpy's The Countess.) As for tribute bands like Bathory or Cradle of Filth, they're out there and you certainly don't need me to help you find them! Updated November 2011 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Can you send me...? No. Whatever I know and have time to type is on this website. Two addenda: 1. News media are welcome to request high-resolution copies of photographs for publication. 2. If you want to use something from my site on your website, read this now. Please do not use or link to photos without contacting me! Updated April 2003 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tell me more! (Visitor Comments #1) Okay. Here is what I have been thinking about Erzsébet, as I wrote in an email to a friend when she asked me, "I am still struggling with her rage. Are you saying that she took her anger out on the victims? Why did she murder them? Because they failed to be properly beautiful? That's just doesn't seem enough to torture over 200. What do you understand about her disorder? What was her childhood like? Did some one show her what to do?" This is the heart of the mystery of Erzsébet. No one knows these answers -- and there will be no real clues until we can read those diaries. What we do know is that Erzsébet was born into the most powerful family in Eastern Europe ... so great, they changed the name of the family to 'bathor' -- valiant. István (King Stephen the Great) ruled nearly all of present-day Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. Erzsébet was reported to be precocious and exquisitely beautiful and transparently pale, china white ... the latter a characteristic of Hungarian beauty to this day. The skin seems so thin you can see the blood vessels under it even in the healthiest of children. She was educated in written and spoken Hungarian, Latin, and German, and was apparently fluent in all of them. She must also have had some knowledge of the language of the Ottomans (what was it then? Turkish?). She studied everything a Western boy-child might study, but in that more matriarchal society it was natural for her to do that. The men would fight. The women would negotiate. And that was one of her roles, keeping the Ottomans from Vienna for years. If you look at the geography of that area, you can see how the castles of the day formed a line along the formidable Vah, Vltava and Danube. That was her domain. So if we think about her as not only beautiful among her own kin, but also made to believe that she was a truly great beauty, we can guess how she must have hated her servants at Cséjthe. They were Slovak -- coarse of demeanor by the standards of that time's often inbred Hungarian nobility. This prejudice becomes exaggerated because Hungarians are not Westerners, nor is their language. They look different, as I've said: paler, more delicate. And the language is very harmonious, part of the Finno-Ugric group (the only Western languages that do not arise originally from Sanskrit, and surviving today as Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, and Karelian). [Note March 2002: Jonathan Saxon tells me Finno-Ugric languages are still spoken in the Mari-El and Udmurt Republics in central Russia.] The accent is without exception on the first syllable, and prepositional agreement is harmonic -- that is, the prepositions (which appear appended to the end of words) must sound lovely with the noun they belong to, and different speakers may use different relationships to achieve that. So Erzsébet's native tongue was like song itself and her nobility was all a so-called 'translucent beauty'. But her servants were not only peasants, they were speakers of a Slavic language full of gutturals and hard consonants unknown in Hungarian, and they were coarse-skinned from her ethnically narrow viewpoint. She probably loathed them in look and sound and peasant smell. That isn't enough, as you say, to torture and kill so many. So your word "disorder" has got to be included. I don't know how. Schizophrenia? To her family, she was an embarrassment -- power taken to extremes, once permitted because of her dominion and beauty. Later in life, as she became "very old" (over 50), and consumed by debt and making the mistake of killing Ilona Harczy (the minor Hungarian noblewoman in Vienna), she became politically vulnerable. She was taken to trial by Thurzo, the servants he hated were executed (along with Anna), and Erzsébet was imprisoned for more than two years in her own tower. How strong she still was to survive up there in that cold, alone, dirty and (eventually) sick to her death in 1614. That is the tower that still stands, and that you can see in my photos. It is a confounding sight, black even in the daylight. Updated April 2010 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tell me more! (Visitor Comments #2) A recent correspondent objected in general to some of these thoughts. She wrote, "I am sure that Elisabeth, a noble woman, did not like the local poor people for various reasons, such as the language (she did not understand it very likely) and their harsh look and manners. Her attitude does not surprise me as it was natural for a person of her status. What does surprise me is your attitude to Slovak peasants - maybe I should say that it is the description and the final impression a visitor has after finishing reading the FAQ. You have described them in a way as if they were different (in a negative sense) from all other peasants - Hungarian, French or any other nationality. Your letter just suggests that peasants of other nationalities had soft skin, noble manners and smelled after expensive French parfumes. It is nonsense, naturally. These kinds of differences were due to the social status of the particular person, not his nationality." To be clear, all Western peasants were comparatively coarse-skinned, not only Slovaks; however, for purposes of the opera, only Slovaks are of interest, as she had Austrian and Hungarian servants in the castles that are not part of the story I'm telling (I even relocated the singer from Austria). I had no reason to contrast the peasants' harsh manners with other nationalities any more than I had to contrast Erzsébet's nobility with other nationalities. (Would I be inclined to make the latter comparison, though, I would note that the Hungarian ethnic group, peasant or not, has extremely smooth skin in flat expanses, often considered the mark of beauty in the Western view.) She continues, "My next comment concerns the musicality of the language. I am sure you are partial mainly because of your Hungarian roots. But I find expressing only your personal attitudes to Slovak and Hungarian languages unfair. Everybody likes his mother tongue best (even if English seems to be your mother tongue) but it does not give him any right to despise other languages or nations. Can you add into FAQ a note that most foreigners find Slovak folk songs really charming?" Again, she is absolutely correct about song. But to restate my note above, Hungarian (which is not my mother tongue; English is, and my second languages are French and Dutch) and the other Finno-Ugric languages have characteristics which make them more akin to music as it is composed. That is, the languages are, in their native spoken state, more like musical expression to one who does not care about the meaning of the words. The consistent first syllable accent is one very interesting characteristic; the words contain their own downbeats, so to speak. The lack of gutturals and plosives is another; the former sound is absent, the latter suppressed (though these softenings are also noticeable in some French, Italian and Portuguese speakers). But for me, the third -- and foremost -- reason (speaking only of Hungarian here, because I'm not sure of the other three Finno-Ugric tongues) is that its grammatical inflection is harmonic in nature, and its diacritical marks (doubled vowels in Finnish) indicate differences in duration as well as timbre. This is a characteristic of no other Western languages, and very significant to me as a composer. February 2003: Eydís Björnsdóttir recently wrote to amplify this: "All that you say about Hungarian, especially the parts about the emphasis being on the first syllable: Well, I do believe Iceland is one of the Western nations, and the Icelandic language does exactly have that characteristic. And in poetry based on old poetry 'rules', the rhythm of the language is highly important." Many thanks to Eydís for that information. (See more about language in Visitor Comments #4, below.) My goal is not to defend Erzsebet, but to explain, in terms of breaking down unsupportable mythology and replacing it with a different one, more based on what can be ascertained about her behavior in more modern terms. Remember I'm writing an opera, not a history book. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tell me more! (Visitor Comments #3) Sometimes it gets just plain weird, like this one: "First of all, yes you do 'glorify' her. You admire her avarice and power, latent or expressed. There is another issue besides 'blood' and 'ghosts.' There are people out there who are psychopaths. They should not be glorified. If you have ever experienced the suffering and loss of life-direction at the hands of a psychopath (whether murdering, cannibal, or just entrapping, using and ruining), it's very serious and very real. Maddening--incredibly horrible to any socially inclined person. I'm still looking for some commentary on your site that would explain how monsterous 'Bathory' was. The 'thing' (not person) was a monster. That so-called nobility permitted this to occur...and why does this always seem to come from Hungary and Romania. What's with you 'people?' Are you all carnivores?" Weird or not, let me take this on a little. First of all, this modern-day politically correct prattle is an infection. "Entrapping"? "Ruining"? "Life-direction"? Kids are being taught this stuff. Yuck. But to the topic: Nobility (if that's the word) nowhere in the world seems to have been immune from these predilections. The old testament is full of personal slaughter. What were the crusades but legitimized slaughter? The ritualized lynchings in near-modern America? Sometimes it's a religion -- Torquemada and his inflamed minions of death -- sometimes a title -- Henry VIII and his murderous impulses toward his wives, and who knows how many anonymous servants, while being a writer and composer -- and sometimes the madness in modern times is disguised in political/ideological terms, such as the lunatic behavior made manifest in rulers such as Pol Pot or Stalin or Idi Amin or Mao ... or yet still in personal one-on-one Erzsébet-like behavior (less the literally bloody hands) as in a Mengele. All, yes, modern people in modern dress with ancient madness. The world is made up of the psychopaths. Where we deviate from the norm, we show, in such political terms, anti-social behavior, and when we repeat it, anti-social pathology. Where it arises out of mental aberration (as an artist, I am by definition aberrant), it's psychopathological, an ongoing life's work of insanity. Everyone is a psychopath at some level. Sports are psychopathic manifestations. When employees lives are left in ruins by ravenous corporate executives, it's because of psychopaths at work. Cops who beat and maim suspects until they're dead are among them, as are mothers who drown their children one by one, and terrorists who dump feeble humans off cruise ships in the apotheosis of a vacation. Certainly all, yes, manifesting the madness, and there's an opera about that last one ("The Death of Klinghoffer"). What the bruised and battered and damaged goods among us must know is that Erzsébet's acts of long ago are gone, taking with them and her both her own malevolence and the anguish of her victims. Now she can speak only through artists and writers like me, and our self-styled obligation is to re-interpret humanity for our fellow humans, escape it though you desire. We are far from her time, but we have not grown consistently well as a species. But no, the opera -- and the distant story of her life -- is no morality play. It's a thrilling and horrifying story by which we learn if we have separated ourselves from our demons. We ask again and again and again. And discover again and again and again that we have not. How else would we artists have given birth to Dracula and Frankenstein and fearsome modern Hannibal Lecters and even the more mundane Freddies and Chuckies? We are fascinated, hypnotized, by the incomprehensibly horrible. And we, as artists, swim in that rank pool of horror so that you need do little more than read or hear or watch the summarized and sanitized result that may raise momentarily a hair on your neck. (Between snacks. And emails upbraiding us.) So when someone writes to me as they have in this note, they reveal a clear misunderstanding not only of art, but demonstrate also a psychopathic, if you will, focus on the centrality of their own existence in their own world, and their simple-minded weakness in facing what it is to be human. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm interested in language. (Visitor Comments #4) Okay. I'm no expert. But some folks are. Here is what Margaret Radcliffe had to say: I ran across your page by accident (attracted to the Hungarian name in my daughter's links to free sheet music), was intrigued enough by your list of compositions and lectures to search google for more about you and found the Erszébet opera site. I just wanted to comment on the question of emphasis in Hungarian vs. Icelandic. Not that I'm an expert, or particularly qualified. I have studied both languages but have no real fluency in either. The point that Eydís misses is that, while in Icelandic there is emphasis on the first syllable of every word, the emphasis alternates through the rest of the word, as is frequently found in English. So, the 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc. syllables are also emphasized. What you get then, is natural iambics that match the stresses in our most prevalent musical meter - 4/4 time. No wonder it's called "common." This, of course, is not the case in Hungarian, where only the first syllable is emphasized. This is what gives these Finno-Ugric languages that strange (to western ears) singing but monotonous (literally) quality. Of course, this is the characteristic that makes it pretty much impossible for us non-native speakers of Hungarian to ever speak it well. I have a friend whose first language is Estonian and who was a foreign exchange student in Finland. She assures me that the emphasis is only on the first syllable in Estonian and in Finnish, as in Hungarian. Estonian also has the longer duration associated with long vowels, like Finnish and Hungarian. As for the "old poetry rules"--they involve two different sets of alliterative consonants in the two halves of each line, internal assonance, and "kenning," where the poet substitutes metaphors for everything possible, thus making the meaning so obscure that only gnostics can understand what it's about! One last thing--I don't want to bore you or take up more of your time--but I think you do a great job in the FAQ of answering those who criticize your failure to condemn Erszébet. I don't understand why it is that our society believes that every possible fictional and public figure must be a role model, represent an ethnic or national group, or make an overt political statement. Who is so stupid or unimaginative that they want to imitate all of the actions of someone in sports, politics, a book, or a movie? I have tried several times to start reading groups (just to have someone to talk to about books) only to discover that most people are unable to read or discuss any piece of literature except as a personal self-help guide. Frankly, it had never occurred to me to read Lolita as a sociological text... Anyway, bravo to you for plowing forward, at whatever pace you can manage, in your musical career. Köszönöm és jó estét. Updated February 2004 John Kahila adds: As you say, in Finnish the stress is invariably on the first syllable. Also in Estonian, which is closely related. I don't have personal familiarity with other Finno-Ugric languages such as Hungarian, but it doesn't surprise me to learn that they follow the same stress rule. And, as one of your correspondents says, other syllables within a word are not stressed, which can cause Finnish speech to sound oddly monotone to someone accustomed to Indo-European languages. (But it doesn't sound that way to me -- I adore the sound of spoken Finnish.) However, Finnish also permits words to be strung together in long compounds. In compounds, the initial syllable of the first component receives a strong stress, and the initial syllables of the remaining components receive a weaker stress. For example, among Helsinki's many architecturally interesting sites is Temppeliaukiokirkko, the "temple square church" (usually translated into English as Rock Church), which is carved out of native bedrock. Pronounced TEMP-pel-li-Au-ki-o-Kirk-ko. (Reference) Disclaimer: I'm not much of a Finnish speaker. My father's parents spoke Finnish (grandfather Erkki emigrated to the USA from a small town on the west coast of Finland). I lived in Helsinki for a couple of years while in graduate school, but almost everyone who graduates from high school speaks English there, so there wasn't a lot of incentive to go beyond basic tourist language. I'm somewhat better at reading it, though. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Courtney's simple explanation, entitled "The glorification of and/or reindroduction of Erzsbet's humanity into her legend". (Visitor Comments #5-#9) The assumption that there must have been some 'sane' reason behind her killings is just an extension of gender-role prejudice that holds that women are incapable of killing for its own sake. Additional insights from Ryan A couple of months ago i stumbled upon a story about Erzsbet, about the apparent murders she commited. I researched her a lot and from your site, other sources and looking at her portrait i have been able to create an idea of who she was. Now i'm not sure if you get this a lot but ever since i first read her story she has always been on my mind in some form and I'm afraid i am infatuated by this woman. From the information i have read i have forever kept in the forefront of my mind that 'It is the victors who write history'. From this i can derive that not all the information available to us is true and much of it fiction. I believe the bathing in blood is an outstreched rumour. I believe she only commited a few murders out of what could be called 'innocence' and because she could. I do not for a second belive that she did any of the crimes she was accused of. It was all to do with politics as many things are. She was set up by those closest to her, those who she and her husband might have trusted once upon a time. But because we enjoy Legends more than we do good people we are blinded by lies. From looking into her eyes in the portrait it is easy to see the love and sadness she contained. Notes from Dave about men and women and Erzsébet You say not many men, are really that into the countess. Well, you have now met one. I will explain it like this, first, you find a persons story rather interesting, you start reading about her, then, you start reading everything there is to read on the internet, and everywhere else, you dream about her, its as if you really know her, especially the more you learn about her, i highly disagree, when you say, she was very contraind by royalty. i would dare to say, while she was royalty, she had the power, to do whatever she wanted, and she did. that goes sexually as well. it was well known for her to spend many times with her aunt Klara, which you know, im sure. and her entire entourage, was of "different" sort of people. just about every person she had around her was considered a witch, devil worshipper or some sorta deviant. she was attracted to those kinda people. my opinion of her, was she was constraind, when she had to be. Like we all are at work. the reports of wild orgies, that were witnessed by the raiders of her castle on 1610. My attraction to her, is her power, you didnt dare say no to her. she was undoubtedly a very beautiful woman. and her incredibly intelligence only adds to her attraction, combined with her dark side, is just an irresistble combination. you have now met a man, that can equal any womans fascination or love for her. Drago has ideas about her personality I'm not exactly sure how I came across your website or how I became interested in Erzsebet Bathory, but I think that I may have discovered some insight into her behavior. I picked up McNally's "Dracula Was a Woman" book in a used book store while on a business trip in San Fran. Some things which caught my eye were ... •Elizabeth had violent seizures where she would pass out •She suffered ts of uncontrollable rage •There are certain forms of epilepsy which create short-circuits in the brain resulting in a violent temper. A normal person goes through the various stages from mild annoyance, to anger, to rage. A person with this epileptic disorder instantly jumps from calm to rage. The best example that I can give would be to place a pot of water on the stove. Even with the flame at full force, it will take some time for the water to come to a boil. That would be considered a normal person gradually going through the stages of annoyance, anger, fury. A person with this epileptic disorder, however, would be like a pot of water that is already simmering. Even a slight increase in the flame will instantly cause the pot to boil over. While it is impossible to know for certain, it sounds like Erzsebet Bathory suffered from this type of disorder. If so, she was not responsible for her actions. She had a temper with a mind of it's own. The least little annoyance to her wishes was like turning up the flame on that simmering pot of water causing her to boil over with rage. And while she may not have been responsible for her action, it does not minimize those actions but on the contrary, it intensifies them. Not only did the girls physically suffer from her wrath but the psychological fear they must have had of the Countess's ungovernable temper must have been unbelievable never knowing when some minor thing would send her into a rage. Feel free to use any of this information if you believe it will add additional insight into this poor woman and perhaps paint her in a less than horrible light.