Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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.