Now, I've done a lot of research. I know a lot about her. As a matter of fact, I know almost everything. What history has hidden from us, I've filled in with educated guesses. She's not exactly an opened and closed case, but not exactly difficult to read either. My book, 'Bathe With Me,' will explore all of the facts strewn in with my own fill-ins and a bit of fiction here and there to fill time gaps and such. I won't change her story, I'll make it better.
I want to tell Elizabeth Bathory's story the way it truly happened. After learning about her, I do believe that she deserves as much. Even though she killed six hundred and fifty young ladies for absolutely no good reason, I feel that it would be horrible of me to write her story to suit society's tastes. I won't have to change things for lack of drama, either. Trust me. There was plenty of drama, love twists, gore, and disgust in her tale. It's not for the faint of heart.
One thing that I've learned about Bathory is that she projected her feelings about her husband and the relationship that they had on the girls that she killed. That was sort of a no brainer. Ferenc Nadasdy was a harsh man and he was also involved with, um, prostitutes. Even though using prostitutes to suit a man's sexual needs was a common practice back then, and barely frowned upon, I can imagine that the women--especially someone was passionate and spirited as Elizabeth--were somewhat (or a whole lot) unhappy with it. He also had sexual relationships with a lot of the female servants. As a matter of fact, he would visit a servant girl before he would visit his own beautiful wife sometimes. This also leads me to wonder if that man wasn't half blind. Elizabeth Bathory was one of the most sought after women of her time, not only because of her fortune, but because she was an absolute knock out.
I think that when Ferenc started to see the servants and sleep with them, it messed up Elizabeth's mind a little bit. I can understand how painful that must have been for her to see him or hear of him visiting maid after maid after servant girl after servant girl when he had a wife who craved sex, too. Elizabeth eventually grew tired of it. The questions and images that must have flitted through her mind probably drove her damn near batty.
Am I not good enough? What did he do with her? Did he do the same things with her as he did with me? What did it taste like to him? Does he still desire me? Did she scream out for him?
As a woman myself, I can relate to her and her thoughts. I'm sure it hurt her pride as well as her heart. Add the situation with her husband to her being raised in a time and place where punishment for servants often included whipping, slapping, etc. and you get a woman on the verge of madness. You get a woman willing to risk everything she has to hold onto her family's good name. You get a woman driven to kill to keep her beauty so that her husband (or any other man) doesn't lose interest in her.
|Anna Friel in Bathory|
My friends, you get Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess, a woman who is willing to take nature into her own hands and sacrifice the lives of innocent women so that she is still desirable and so that she can sate her curiosity.
The genital mutilations, I believe, were also largely done as sexual punishment stemming from her anger towards her husband and any other man who had ever pissed her off or rejected her.
She's certainly a person of interest for me right now as I am writing about her and her life is blending and intertwining itself with mine more and more every day. I do not intend to start killing people or bathing in their blood, but I am learning that she was actually a human being at one point in time and that in modern days, her life could have been a better one if she'd been given the help she needed (or a divorce from Nadasdy).
Until then, I'll include that the novel will be in three parts and each part has its own title: Part One, Bone Dry; Part Two, Dripping Wet; Part Three: Soaked in Blood.