Thursday, May 30, 2013
Youth Elixir Submitted by: ANGEL2ANGEL Introduction Brigitte's Protein Blast Minutes to Prepare: 5 Number of Servings: 1 Ingredients 1 1/2 C. Blue Diamond Almond Milk (sugar free) 1 C. Frozen Raspberries 1/2 Frozen Blueberries 1 Tbs. Body Balance Bio Oil ( a 4-1 Ratio of Sunflower oil and Flaxseed oil) One Scoop of Elite Protein Powder Nano Greens (or any ORGANTIC powdered greens) 1/2 to 1 C. Ice water. Directions Toss All ingredients in blender and blend till smooth...... You can substitute any frozen friut ENJOY!!!!!!!!! It will Keep you young and healthy. Number of Servings: 1 Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user ANGEL2ANGEL.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Read for the inaccuracies: Created Aug 2, 2001 | Updated Jan 28, 2002 11 Conversations Elizabeth Bathory - the Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess, is one of the most famous of all historical vampires. She is perhaps less well-known only than the infamous Vlad Dracula, known also as Tepes (the Impaler) and he - although noted for his savage and very public methods of execution - was no vampire, but has merely been cited as the inspiration for Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula. In fact, the historical Dracula is usually best known as a devout, if savage, Christian warrior and noted for his successful enforcement of the law within the Voevodate of Wallachia. Elizabeth Bathory on the other hand is renowned as a torturer, an eater of flesh and a bather in blood, and has been cited by prominent vampirologist Raymond McNally in his book Dracula was a Woman (which is currently out of print) as a closer model for Bram Stoker's creation than Tepes. Bathory, like Stoker's Dracula, was a Hungarian1 of noble blood, whereas Tepes was Romanian; the Voevod, or Prince, of Wallachia when said title was not in the hands of his brother. Also, although his deeds were bloody, Tepes is never reported to have drunk the blood of his victims, while Elizabeth Bathory is reputed (admittedly with only anecdotal evidence) to have not only drunk but bathed in the blood of young virgin girls. The truth of whether she was a model for the Count will remain known only to Stoker, but certainly in the years since Dracula was published, the Blood Countess has exercised a powerful fascination on many writers and film-makers. The Birth and Childhood of Elizabeth Bathory Erzsebet Bathory, known more commonly in the Western world by the anglicised name Elizabeth, was born in 1560, the daughter of Baron George Bathory and Baroness Anna Bathory. George and Anna were both Bathorys by birth; he a member of the Ecsed branch of the family and of the Somlyo. Such inbreeding was not uncommon in the aristocracy of 16th Century Eastern Europe, as the purity of the noble line was seen as paramount. The Bathory were one of the most powerful Protestant families in Hungary, and numbered warlords, politicians and clerics among its members. Elizabeth's ancestor Stephan Bathory had fought alongside Vlad Dracula in one of his many successful attempts to reclaim the Wallachian throne, and his namesake, Elizabeth's cousin, became Prince of Transylvania in 1571, and was later elected King of Poland. Other members of the family were less respectable however, including Elizabeth's brother (also called Stephan), a noted drunkard and lecher. Elizabeth was highly-educated for her time, being fluent in Hungarian, Latin and Greek in a time when most Hungarians of noble birth - even men, who generally would have been better schooled than their female kin - were all but illiterate. She is also said to have been a great beauty, although it is unlikely that anyone would have openly said otherwise of the daughter of such a prominent family. At the age of eleven, Elizabeth was engaged to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, a skilled warrior and athlete, but as reported by his own mother's hand, 'no scholar'. He was - by varying reports - five or 15 years Elizabeth's senior. It was Ferenc's mother, Ursula, who arranged this engagement, one which would give considerable prestige to the Nadasdy family. In seeking to divine the genesis of Elizabeth's sadistic behaviour it has been suggested that she might have been insane from childhood. It is said that the young Elizabeth suffered from seizures accompanied by loss of control and fits of rage, which may have been caused by epilepsy, possibly stemming from inbreeding. She was also able to witness the brutal justice handed down by her family's officers on their estates at Ecsel. One anecdote describes an incident in which a gypsy, accused of theft, was sewn up in the belly of a dying horse with only his head exposed, and left to die. Such tales afford a grisly reminder that her own acts - while excessive even by the standards of the time - were not so very far removed from deeds which would have been considered quite normal. The Marriage of Elizabeth Bathory and Ferenc Nadasdy In 1574 Elizabeth fell pregnant by a peasant lover. She was quietly sequestered until the child, a daughter, was born and given to peasant foster parents to be raised. In 1575 she was married to Ferenc in a gala festival to which the Holy Roman Emperor himself, Maximillian II, was invited, sending a delegation and a lavish gift with an apology for his unavoidable absence. His reason was the danger of travelling in turbulent times, and there is little to suggest that he was seeking to avoid either family. Elizabeth retained her maiden name, and Ferenc added it to his own, less distinguished one, becoming Ferenc Bathory-Nadasdy After her marriage, Elizabeth was established as mistress of the Nadasdy estate around Castle Sarvar. Here the Nadasdys enjoyed a reputation as harsh masters, and while much of Elizabeth's cruelty is doubtless due to her own nature, Ferenc is said to have shown her some of his own favoured ways of punishing his servants. There are also tales of the couple engaging in diabolic rites and patronising various occultists and satanists. It is unusual, although far from unheard of, for retellers of the story to claim that Ferenc was unaware of his wife's perversions. Elizabeth is reported to have been a good wife in her husband's presence, but Ferenc was a warrior by nature, and frequently absent. To occupy her time she is said to have taken numerous young men as lovers. She even ran away with one of these, but returned after a very short time to her husband. She also spent time visiting her aunt, noted at the time for her open bisexuality, and contemporary reports seem to consider Elizabeth's sexual ambivalence to be an integral part of her overall perversion. After ten years of marriage Elizabeth finally gave her husband children; three daughters and at last a son, delivered in quick succession from 1585 onwards. By all reports, Elizabeth was an excellent and doting mother. Elizabeth Bathory's Crimes It was in her husband's absence that Elizabeth is reputed to have begun torturing young servant girls for her own pleasure, although this may in fact have been a pastime to which Ferenc himself introduced her to. Her accomplices at this time were Helena Jo, her childrens' wet-nurse, Dorothea Szentes, also known as Dorka, a peasant woman of noted physical strength alleged to be a witch, and Johannes Ujvary, also referred to as Ficzko, a manservant sometimes described as a dwarf-like cripple. Among the activities attributed to Elizabeth in this period were beating her maidservants with a barbed lash and a heavy cudgel, and having them dragged naked into the snow and doused with cold water until they froze to death. In January 1604, Ferenc Nadasdy died of an infected wound, reportedly inflicted by a harlot whom he refused to pay. Elizabeth transferred herself to the royal court at Vienna with almost unseemly haste, and took to spending much time at her castle at Cachtice (pronounced Chakh-teetsay) in north-west Hungary (now Slovakia). Here she took up with Anna Darvula, described as the most active sadist in her entourage, and, like Dorka, alleged to be a witch. Darvula was also said to be Elizabeth's lover. This was the period in which Elizabeth is said to have committed her greatest atrocities, under the guidance of Darvula. It is also at this time that legend tells us that she discovered, on striking a servant girl who accidentally pulled her hair whilst combing it, that blood appeared to reduce the signs of ageing on her skin. The popular version of events tells how Elizabeth took to bathing in the blood of young girls2, although of the various horrific eye-witness accounts of her crimes, none describe these blood baths. Elizabeth's proclivities went largely undetected - or at least ignored - until around 1609. In fact the Lord Palatine of Hungary, Count Cuyorgy Thurzo, probably knew of her activities much earlier. He was her cousin however, and to protect the family name took no official action, although he may have tried to have Elizabeth confined to a nunnery. In 1609 however, Darvula died, and Elizabeth seems to have taken up with a new accomplice/lover, the widow of one of her tenant farmers, named Erszi Majorova, and it was perhaps at Erszi's instigation or encouragement that Elizabeth turned her hand against a number of girls from families of noble blood but little wealth. The Downfall of Elizabeth Bathory The deaths of peasant girls might be overlooked, but the murder of nobles, even those of such limited means as those Elizabeth selected, could not go unnoticed. The King of Hungary ordered her arrest, and Count Thurzo moved quickly to save the family as much face as possible by affecting her capture on his own terms. On 30 December he led soldiers in a night raid on Castle Cachtice; as it was Christmas, the Hungarian Parliament would not have been in session, allowing the Lord Palatine to act unhindered. This raid supposedly found a dead girl in the hallway, and many other victims dead, dying or awaiting torture in cells. Dorothea, Helena and Ficzko were arrested, along with Katarina Beneczky, a washerwoman newly entered into the Countess' service. Erszi Majorova escaped capture in the raid but was later also arrested. Elizabeth herself was held but not taken away with her associates. In January 1611 Elizabeth's accomplices were subjected to two hurried show trials, in which they gave evidence, almost certainly extracted under torture, and were convicted of their heinous crimes in a matter of days. In the second trial, another servant named as Zusanna gave evidence of the existence of a register, in her mistress' handwriting, which recorded over 650 victims who had died at the Countess' hands over the years. This evidence was shaky as the register was never actually produced, but it was enough to convict the servants. Helena Jo and Dorothea Szentes were named as the foremost perpetrators and sentenced, as witches, to have the fingers which had 'dipped in the blood of Christians' torn out with red-hot pincers, and then to be burned alive. As a lesser offender, Ficzko was decapitated before his body was burned alongside the two women. On 24 January, Erszi Majorova was also sentenced and executed. Of those tried, only Katarina Beneczky escaped the death sentence, exonerated by her fellow defendants and also by the testimony of Zusanna. Elizabeth Bathory was present at neither trial, and was convicted of no crime. However, when she attempted to flee, her cousin had her confined to the castle at Cachtice, although her family stubbornly refused the King's demands that she be tried for her crimes. While he was probably shocked by the extent of the Countess' deeds, the King's desire for justice was almost certainly in part due to a large debt incurred against Ferenc in his lifetime. Elizabeth's conviction would have allowed the King to not only write off that debt, but also to seize the Nadasdy lands, and those held by Elizabeth as a Bathory. Consequently, the Bathorys must have brought all of their considerable influence to bear to keep that from happening. From the Horse's Mouth - Testimony of Elizabeth Bathory's Crimes The following are examples of the testimony of the servants recorded at the trial of Elizabeth's accomplices. ... a 12-year-old girl named Pola somehow managed to escape from the castle. But Dorka, aided by Helena Jo, caught the frightened girl by surprise and brought her forcibly back to Cachtice Castle. Clad only in a long white robe, Countess Elizabeth greeted the girl upon her return. The countess was in another of her rages. She advanced on the 12-year-old child and forced her into a kind of cage. This particular cage was built like a huge ball, too narrow to sit in, too low to stand in. Once the girl was inside, the cage was suddenly hauled up by a pulley and dozens of short spikes jutted into the cage. Pola tried to avoid being caught on the spikes, but Ficzko manoeuvered the ropes so that the cage shifted from side to side. Pola's flesh was torn to pieces. One accomplice testified that on some days Elizabeth had stark-naked girls laid flat on the floor of her bedroom and tortured them so much that one could scoop up the blood by the pailful afterwards, and so Elizabeth had her servants bring up cinders in order to cover the pools of blood. A young maid-servant who did not endure the tortures well and died very quickly was written out by the countess in her diary with the laconic comment 'She was too small...' At one point in her life Elizabeth Bathory was so sick that she could not move from her bed and could not find the strength to torture her miscreant servant girls... She demanded that one of her female servants be brought before her. Dorothea Szentes, a burly, strong peasant woman, dragged one of Elizabeth's girls to her bedside and held her there. Elizabeth rose up on her bed, and, like a bulldog, the Countess opened her mouth and bit the girl first on the cheek. Then she went for the girl's shoulders where she ripped out a piece of flesh with her teeth. After that, Elizabeth proceeded to bite the girl's breasts. - From Dracula was a Woman McNally, R The Fate Of Elizabeth Bathory Although she was never convicted of any crime, Elizabeth Bathory's family declared her a menace to their name, and she was walled up within her bed chamber, with only small slits for ventilation and the passing of food left open. After three years, a guard looking through one of the slots saw the infamous Blood Countess lying face down on the floor of her chamber, dead. Elizabeth died in Castle Cachtice on 21 August, 1614. The bulk of her estate was divided, according to her will, between her children. She was taken from the castle and buried at her birthplace at Ecsed. She was to have been buried at Cachtice, but the local populace would not hear of such a woman being interred in their parish, let alone on consecrated ground. While the views of the peasantry would have been of little matter, it would perhaps be feared that Elizabeth's grave would be desecrated, bringing further insult upon the family name. Truth and Fiction As noted above, the most common story of Elizabeth Bathory's reign of terror - that of the blood bath - is unsupported by the evidence of any of the witnesses3. Moreover, the nature of the trial renders suspect all of the evidence given there, as said evidence was largely extracted under torture or threat of torture, and was probably 'tuned' to create the most vivid impression. However, the story of the Blood Countess has been seized upon by many writers and film-makers, for whom the heady mixture of Elizabeth's beauty, sophistication, extreme cruelty and bisexuality have formed the basis for many a prurient retelling. It has become difficult to distinguish the facts from the fiction in the case of Countess Elizabeth Bathory-Nadasdy, in spite of - or perhaps because of - the wealth of documentary evidence in the case as many of the original trial records survive in Hungary to this day. After the blood baths, the most frequent embellishment is the playing up of her involvement with the occult, ranging from the simple presence of her supposed witches, through tales of the infernal rites she enacted in the company of her husband, to accounts of her maintaining a court filled with alchemists, sorcerers and satanists of every stripe as advisers. A similarly occult element brings in claims of the Countess' insistence on virgin victims. Such a stipulation is not attested to in the direct evidence, although prudence would probably have meant that most of the victims were at least unmarried. She herself is variously accused of witchcraft, vampirism and lycanthropy. As always with historical characters and historical atrocities, the great risk in these retellings is that the brutal murders of Elizabeth Bathory's victims should become just a piece of background, their role as faceless victims cemented forever. This risk is exacerbated by the 'bad-girl glamour' which invariably accompanies Elizabeth's portrayal. As modern day serial killers become twisted folk heroes and objects of adoration, so Elizabeth Bathory's fascination pervades these stories, turning a cruel and twisted woman into an intensely sensual, sexual, almost romantic figure. Conclusions and a Note on the Material In researching this entry, the Researcher made an early decision to disregard any and all material which opened its description with either of the phrases: 'Elizabeth Bathory was a lesbian', or 'Although Elizabeth Bathory was not a lesbian'. It is the Researcher's feeling that the nature of Elizabeth Bathory's crimes should not be attributed to her sexual orientation but rather to a deep personal dysfunction. To dwell upon sexuality as a formative factor is not merely crass, but also perpetuates Elizabeth Bathory's sexual glamour. Her actions were in part an expression of tremendous sadism, and in part no more than an extension of the contemporary attitude towards the value of human life - especially that of people with no social standing; it was after all only when she began killing noble girls that Elizabeth's crimes caught up with her. As for the claims that Elizabeth was afflicted by madness in the form of epileptic fits and violent spells, while this might explain, but certainly not excuse, some of her deeds, others remain as testaments to a far more calculating cruelty. Many of her reported crimes involved long, drawn-out tortures, not acts of sudden violence. She is also reported to have disposed of two of her castles in order to finance her 'pastime', also not actions reconcilable with anything so simple as a savage and bloody temper. Of course, any conclusion drawn at this time would be merely speculative, and certainly to claim any single root to Elizabeth Bathory's insanity would be trivialising the nature of madness to the level of soap opera analysis. While it is beyond doubt that by modern standards Elizabeth Bathory was quite insane, it would seem to have been a deep-seated and complex madness rather than a periodic imbalance. While the confiscation of her first child can not have failed to affect her, it seems unlikely that it would have by itself created the creature described in the trial reports. Ultimately, we can never really know the causes and motivations of Elizabeth Bathory's actions. We can only look back on the case of the Blood Countess, and wonder at the brutal culture and the extraordinary circumstances that might have created such a monster among monsters. 1At the time Transylvania was in Hungary.2Only at a much later date did the stipulation that her victims be virgins appear.3The closest any comes are descriptions of the Countess biting her victims, and of being so soaked in blood in pursuit of her pleasures that she had to wash and change her clothes.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
From Countess Dracula by Tony Thorne: Finally, someone has a fresh theory about the alleged crimes of our favorite Countess. He explores many historical and so called eye witness accounts, and presents theories for why she was so vilified. As he writes the Kindle edition of his book, “If we can apprehend the way of life and thinking of Elizabeth Báthory and her contemporaries, perhaps we can perceive the logic in their actions and they will case to be unreachably alien.” Isn’t that what all the fiction written about her is trying to do? And at this point, I will contend that outside of her own letters, all of the so-called biographies are all fictional accounts. One argument he makes is that women of all walks of life were aware of and skilled in healing arts of all types, some involving pagan ritual or forms of “magic” or what was then seen as witchcraft. Other remedies were steeped in tradition, herbology, and old legends. Pharmacies were nonexistent in villages and virtual fiefdoms, while only a few existed in larger cities. People in Eastern Europe were used to home remedies, and these were often more effective than what contemporary medicine offered. In the witch hysterias that followed, healing women, often old crones who lived like hermits in the woods [Think Blair Witch and Hansel and Gretl for negative connotations], were both consulted for their knowledge and later vilified, even burned. The legend/biography of Sairy Gamp, a figure connected with nursing, illustrates some of these issues. Erzebet was by all accounts, well versed in various remedies and healing arts, and in the incantations connected with them. Women of all stations, Thorne points out, lived intimately, and mistresses of great estates like Erzebet were charged with caring for wounded warrior husbands and family members, distant relatives who lived with them and served them, their fiefs and virtual serfs, villagers, and anyone else under their protection. Child birth was almost entirely in their realm, even where other parts of Europe might be employing male physicians. Cosmetics were also sought after, and homemade. As Thorne writes, “The use of magic cosmetics, which Elizabeth was accused of posthumously, was alos part of the spectrum of herbalism and healing:” [cf connection with Snow White, Erzebet’s mirrors, and The Brothers Grimm]. Witness this passage by Thorne, his Kindle edition: Ferenc Schram, in his exhaustive account of the witchcraft trials taking place in Hungary Between 1529 and 1768, tells the story of women villages fighting over possession Of a magic cosmetic. Desire for the substance caused a wave of hysteria which Died down only after the local wise woman had been condemned to death and her ointment had been carried off by her enemies. [Note 20 in Thorne]. Early on, Thorne writes that a woman accused of being a witch had a ‘good chance’ of being acquitted, but it was still a good way to have a political enemy arrested and detained. Furthermore, Thorne points out that medical treatments were often untried, dangerous, painful, and tortuous. Many died more from the cure than the disease. He mentions blood letting was used to purge many ailments, and that patients often died. Cupping, or burring out illnesses to draw out pus from open wounds would have been a remedy familiar to Erzebet’s household. Perhaps the stories of her using candles and open flame, as well as pincers, scissors, and other similar instruments were the garbled accounts of those who witnessed futile attempts to cure servants suffering from all types of plagues and accompanying sores and skin diseases. Other painful, and to us, strange remedies, included leeching [now back in vogue], cauterizing, purging for excessive humours, venescetion/phlebotomy, which is bleeding. According to Throne, “the more e these methods caused pain, the more efficacious they were …” He notes the resulting backlash against women who practiced healing arts also occurred in England. Also, Thorne notes that “In central Europe, a popular medical handbook of 1586, the Ars Medica (written by Gyorgy Lencsés, a member of the entourage of Prince Christopher Báthory’s wife, Lady Elizabeth Bosckai), recommends that patients be bound tightly in chains to help expel poisons from the body, after which they should be bathed or steamed” (Quoted in Thorne, Kindle Edition). It would make more sense, especially given letters she has written to her husband about their daughter’s “mouth rot” and the failed attempts of the dentist/barber/physician to help the child. Erzebet’s own many ailments would have prompted her to try all kind of remedies so that she could stay healthy enough to manage the family wealth and estates, especially in light of the fact that Ferenc was off to war so often. Herbal baths, and all kinds of bathing, were listed as cures for all types of ailments. Thurzo’s own wife. Elisabeth Czobor, was skilled in these same healing arts, according to Thorne. Another aristocratic healer was Éva Poppelova Lobkowitz of the Batthyány family. More telling, there was Lady Anna-Rosina Listhius, “whose family contained many alchemists” and whose later fate “echoed that of Elizabeh herself,” and Lady Poetencia Dersffy, who “lent her book of cures to Elizabeth’s father –in-law. Children, also, were the “center of consciousness” in light of the many wars, plagues, and changes in weather that upset people’s lives and health, and other social reasons. He notes that Erzebet herself lost children in infancy . Such an attitude would have explained the hysteria fed by rumors of what was going on at the castle. It is to be remembered that Erzebet explained the deaths of many of these girls as illness or plague, and the alleged bruises and scars on their body were also, without more evidence, possibly caused by attempt to cure them or medicate them. Thorne makes reference to art that, as Rembrandt put it was lamenting the future,: and he notes contemporary paintings with such grim themes like Brueghel’s Massacre of the Innocents. As far as Erzebet’s/Elizabeth’s relationship wither own family, there is no evidence, Thorne writes, to show she was shunned or left out of her own family because of any scandal or taint. On the contrary, she was at the center of all their activities, public, private, and political, and appears to have been well respected and thought of. Nor, he writes, is there any evidence that she slipped into the “family madness” or any other type of mental affliction after Ferenc died, or after she entered middle age. What a shame we don’t have her own testimony, given in her own defense. Of all the figures in this drama, she is the most interesting. And, the most pathetic. Even after accusation, and even arrest, one commentator writes she was “much respected and loved by other aristocratic ladies: many corresponded with her and more visited her”( quoted in Thorne note 23). Yet, for whatever reasons, Thorne notes that her friends failed her in her most desperate hour of need. Note also, Thorne does a careful analysis of the most authentic painting allegedly of Erzebet, and the symbols in it, key, pearls, clock, box indicating healing expertise [her son Pals testified she had such a box] show a person of competent and noble character, well prepared for her station in life, not a raving lunatic with a thirst for young blood. It just isn’t fair.
Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: The Legend of Al Capone's Doll Collection; A reque...: Anyone who has information about this legendary collection, please contact me. You may use the emails posted on any of my blogs, or comment...
Sunday, May 19, 2013
She lost her life on May 19, 1536 by one quick, clean French swordsman's stroke. She was the Queen of England, and the first woman, and queen to suffer death by beheading. Two would follower her, her first cousin, Catherine Howard, and the 17 year old 9 days queen, Lady Jane Grey. Many other noblewomen would follow her, one way or another, Anne Askew by torture and the stake, by the axe, The elderly Duchess of Salisbury, Lady Jane Rochford, many years later, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her name was Anne Boleyn. She was the mother of Elizabeth I, who never quite forgot her,and who were a ring with images of her and her mother to her death. In many ways, Anne's life parallels Erzebet's, and the song Anne wrote for her lute, "Defiled is My name Full sore," could also be Erzebet's lament. A Luterhan/Calvinist would be acquainted with Anne's fate. The Lutheran German principalities broke off relations with Henry VIII after Anne's disgrace and exectution. This was why he married Anne of Cleves, a German princess, only to divorce her and keep her under house arrest, in a house that may have belonged to that other Anne. Thomas Cromwell, in a fit of poetic justice, lost his head over that fiasco. The court painter, Holbein, who also painted Anne, nearly did. Two excellent women, indeed, of noble birth, with royal blood [Anne had Plantaganet blood, and was a distant cousin of Henry. Her first cousin married his illegitimate son, made a Duke, possibly the Duke of Richmond, who died at 17 afer witnessesing her death]. He was the son of Bessie Blount. Henry had another son by Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister. Fate is cruel, and the cruelty has lasted centuries in the cases of both women.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Wild Horse gets five star review!: On its first day of publication, Wild Horse Runs Free got a 5 Star Review! Thank you, Tom Swift!
Friday, May 17, 2013
My romance about two Apache teens and their Apache and White families will appear tomorrow on Kindle. There is oer 20 years of authentic research in this book, which has become a labor of love in many ways. One of the characters, Red Feather, took over the story, and then ovetook the hero! I hope my readers will find the story enjoyable, and they will enjoy the hero's journey from the Southwest of the 19th century to the cobbled streets of New Orleans and back. Also, the cover for the long awaited book on Metal Dolls is here. The book will be in print within two weeks, and will be available through me, and eventually on Amazon. I have been writing and research dolls and other topics heavily, and hope to have a productive summer. Recently attended a fantastic estate sale of a long time collector, artist, and seamstress. I was amazed at how many things there were and at how clever she was at storage and organization. The newest dolls date from around 2000. All items were labelled, sometimes with the donor's name, but also with date, year, and occasion for the givt. To paraphrase Carl Fox, it is amazing what people quietly collect behind the quiet walls of their homes. I wish I could have had a dialog with this lady. All her dolls were cherished and well-kept, and must have give her hours of pleasure. She had made miniature wedding gowns that had darts and linings where applicable, and tiny shoes and doll clothes for all kinds of dolls. She favored collectible Barbies and modern porcelain dolls, with some vintage artist reproductions of antiques like Hilda by JDK, and other Kestner and German bisque dolls. Many of these were over 30 years old, from a doll show which is no longer held. Also, am beginning research on a writing project involving Hugo and various automatons. We are studying them again in my intellectual property class as well. It is fun to show them to my students, and to tie them in with patents, technology, and robotics. I would love to hear for your doll collecting and writing adventures any time. Look for Wild Horse on Kindle free days as well.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
It has been awhile, but I've started writing the second YA novel based on Erzebet, and reading the above book about her life. This is the best researched book yet, even more so than Infamous Lady. Thorne is careful in explaining the history of the region, historical era, and Bathory family. He points out that the various forms of the languages spoken in Erzebet's time are often innaccurately translated. For example, articles denoting gender can be feminine or masculine. Also, he point out that virtually none of the servants personally implicated Erzebet. Only Fisczko, whose name itself has several meanings, mentions "the mistress" towards the end of his interrogation. Throne reiterates the accusations and allusions made under torture, and gives a better picture of who the feckless servants involved were. He debunks myths about Erzebet, and points out inccuracies and exaggerations in McNally's books and in romanticized horror novels about her, mostly written during the 19th century. Throne observes that for all her alleged fraternization with the servants, Erzebet, as an upper class woman, did not speak or understand their dialect. How likely would it be that she would be wallowing in their pastimes? He also points out more grudges and motives her accusers would have had against her. Thorne does not attempt to whitewash The Countess, but he is fair and well reasoned. I don't know yet if he is a lawyer, but he would make a good defense attorney. Also, the case as he describes it against her reminded me very much of the McMartin Preschool cases. It is great reading, overall. I've also spotted a book called Bad Girls in which the usual fictionalized bio of Erzebet appears.