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The Countess by Rebecca Johns

The Countess (2010)

by Rebecca Johns

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1581575,572 (3.43)3



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Fascinating read, which proved very informative even if in a fictional characterization of an insane woman trying to justify her incessant appetite for murder. It gave me a better insight on how Erzsebet Bathory might have regarded her demons. ( )
  josmith16 | May 27, 2015 |
This biography of the Countess Bathory was a fantastic novel, a wonderful first person description of a descent into madness. At first, I wondered why the book was skipping over the deaths - then I realized they were being skipped over because in her eyes they were barely worth mentioning - and then as she descended into madness, it all started to come into focus - she was laying blame, her mind poisoned, her status as narrator became more and more unreliable, and, in the end, the book told the tale exactly as it should have been told. It is well-written and quite effective. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
*****This was a GoodReads Giveaway Win!*********

Wow! This was a very interesting book. I feel like the author gave an edited view about the life of Elizabeth Bathory. But what a view it was. The style of writing had me in the 1600's. This is a very good book to read, well worth the trouble to find a copy to read.

The author take the reader though the life of Elizabeth Bathory, a Countess in the late 1500's to early 1600's. According to history this was the Blood Countess.

Thanks to the author Rebecca John's for sending me an autographed copy of this book. ( )
  kybunnies | Oct 19, 2014 |
I gave the novel four stars because while it could have spun into darker fantasy fueled by the legends about Erzsebet Bathory, Johns took a more serious approach and allowed the Countess a more complex, realistic role as a noblewoman constricted by her class, her gender, and later in life, her loss of status after the death of her husband. In this respect, "The Countess" follows a similar story line as the charming 2008 film, "Bathory".

History suggests that Erzsebet probably did engage in harsh discipline of her servants, not unusual in the seventeenth century, and that she likely tortured and caused the deaths of perhaps 30 girls, suggesting that she had a tempermental, sadistic, or sociopathic streak, but it is unlikely that she murdered over 600 or ever bathed in their blood. She was known to extend charity and kindness to others less fortunate, yet at the same time was probably reviled by many as the decadent "1%" of her era. What little is known about her suggests that she was also a loving mother and a shrewd, busy manager of her husband's holdings as well.

The novel's first person point of view allows the reader an intimacy with Erzsebet's journal-style narrative, though of course, one suspects at times that she is an unreliable narrator who sanitizes and rationalizes her actions. Johns rose to the challenge of padding facts with speculative fiction and overall, found the proper balance and tension in this portrayal of Bathory's fascinating life. After all, even serial killers have a bit of humanity mixed with their monstrous flaws. I'm just sorry that we'll never know the facts that fueled centuries of legend about the Blood Countess. ( )
  KateRobinson | Oct 4, 2014 |
  golden_lily | Mar 29, 2013 |
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1611 Hungary. Countess Erzsébet Báthory (aka the Blood Countess), being walled into a castle tower as punishment for the murder of dozens of women and girls, begins writing her life story as an exposé of the many betrayals that have brought about this--as she sees it--outrageous and unjust imprisonment.… (more)

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