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Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess…
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Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory

by Kimberly L. Craft

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Superb book. The amount of research and detail found here is astounding, and the author's knowledge of the Early Modern period in European history is incredible. I was particularly fascinated by the legal proceedings of the time period and how the authorities behaved against a widow of the high nobility, whose husband was a war hero and who lent huge amounts of money to the crown, when she was accused of having murdered numerous servant girls. It was a real page turner, especially after chapter four (although the first three chapters provided necessary detail for later parts). If you like true crime, history, political intrigue, and a look at one of history's most unusual characters, you will love this book. ( )
  Tristan-Shelton | Jul 6, 2010 |
This was a fantastic book, filled with first-time information in the English language about a brutal serial killer whose name has been banned over 400 years in Hungary. I found myself hating this woman and yet feeling sorry for her at the same time, through no manipulation on the author's part. Everything was laid out simply and without bias; the feelings were my own. Very complex person, and explained very well. The history and complex legal proceedings of the early 1600s were also explained so that the lay person could not only understand but follow along on an exciting ride. ( )
  JamesTShelton | Jun 20, 2010 |
Excellent book and well researched. I had no idea that the woman reputed to be a vampire, lesbian serial killer who murdered 650 people and bathed in their blood as a beauty treatment actually attended the king's coronation, gave charitable donations to the Lutheran church, scholarships to students, and loans to servants in need. Quite the enigma! I also learned from this book that over 300 people testified but hardly a one saw her actually do anything wrong. The handful that did see and participate in her heinous deeds, however, went on record reporting unbelievable acts of cruelty that, even today, give one pause. I won't spoil anything. I'll just say that Hannibal Lechter had nothing on this woman. The actual trial and witness testimonies are far more shocking than any of the silly legends that grew up hundreds of years after this woman died. All of them are presented here, along with letters, including the speculations of her friends and family who themselves had no idea what she was up to until the very end. The first few chapters explain her family history as well as the politics of her time. For me, that was a little slow going, but the book soon delivered in a chapter called "Strange Goings On." It just got better and better from there. It also has photos of rare portraits that, apparently, are well known in Europe but not in the U.S. A great read for the history and crime buff. ( )
  Jager5 | May 11, 2010 |
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