Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Work in Progress

We are still a work in progress, so pardon our dust. I am tweaking the site, here and there, and I have more I want to read and to post about Erzebet and other women like her. Witch Hunts of all type are not new to humanity, nor are they dead. Even today, women are being burned alive for being "witches" in different part of the world. In other places, they are stoned, machine gunned, and hanged by totalitarian regimes. Wealthy woman who are lone are still pray to fortune hunters who woo them, or who like Thurzo, promise to care for them, and then take all they have, sometimes even their lives. Tomorrow, I present a program on herbs and doll making. I was also pleased, if a little disconcerted, to find belladonna, aka, deadly nightshade, growing wild in my area. How timely! Erzebet, a known healer, would have been a target in 17th century Europe, particularly Austria, Hungary, and the parts of Eastern Europe where she had holdings. Almost during her lifetime, Sir William Harvey made inroads into the circulation of the blood, and his studies were also considered heresy. Gallileo and Copernicus were chastised and punished for their studies as well. What chance did a lonely widow have, even a wealthy one! The "blood baths" may have been soakings in eucalyptus leaves, or chamomille, which can turn water read, or maybe it was just water reflected in firelight. She didn't speak the peasant's language, yet allegedly persuaded them to commit murder and mayhem on an epic scale. No physical evidence ties her to anything, and yet, she is condemned. She would have walked free today and brought myriad lawsuits. She spent her times writing letters, travelling among 27+ estates during wartime, caring for her fiefs and her family. She worried about having enough grain to feed everyone, and knew people were stealing from her. She had to worry about the Ottomans, and her own kin stealing from her, and she was owed money by a King, who did not want to pay. She was frail, and aging at a time when widows and single women were a burden, and she had no one left to speak for her. Is it any matter she met the end she did? Till Next Time.

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