An enduring icon of evil, the Hungarian Countess Elisabeth Báthory continues to fascinate in controversial afterlife.
There have been many attempts to recount and analyse the life of the notorious 16th-century ‘Blood Countess’, before and after my own biography, Countess Dracula, was published in 1997. Past articles on the subject can be found on this site, but earlier this year I spoke to Ronan O’Connell, and his article, for National Geographic is here…
For what it is worth, I stand by my own comments as they appear in Ronan’s piece, but still have reservations about the lurid ‘facts’ put forward by others when examining her early years or detailing the atrocities she was said to have committed. These have frequently been based on other earlier fictionalisings or embellishment of the recorded history, rather than new and indisputable evidence, and I think that here – again – the descriptions of childhood ailments, erratic behaviour and illicit pregnancies in youth are quite unsupported by contemporary documents, as are the familiar allegations of sadism which were accusations (possibly true) made under duress or in the furtherance of a demonstrable ‘frame-up.’