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Elizabeth Bathory: A Memoire: As Told by Her Court Master, Benedict Deseo Paperback – Jul 1 2011


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (July 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463678479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463678470
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #476,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Kimberly L. Craft holds bachelor and master's degrees as well as a juris (law) doctorate. An attorney and legal historian, Prof. Craft has spent over a decade researching the life and trial of Countess Báthory and over a year translating original source material into English. In addition to this new work of historical fiction, she has authored definitive biographies on the countess, including: "Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory," and the "Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not a typical romance, very dark and disturbing but very good. June 4 2012
By M.R. Craft - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is not your typical light romance novel and it is not for the faint of heart, that said, I will say it is a very good book. Like "50 Shades of Gray", there is reference to very erotic and disturbing BDSM scenes, but in a sense it is actually more appropriate and tastefully done in this book as it reflects the time period and characters involved. Readers should go into this book with an open mind and should also have some prior knowledge of Elizabeth Bathory, who was a notorious serial killer back in the 1600s. If you have some background on her and her crimes then you will appreciate the twisted scenes that are based upon what has been related about her historically. I found them to offer some insights into what she may have been like and why and how the misogyny and brutality of the time period and her strange background may have led to her insanity. Even though the book has startling moments of violence, there is a bit of a bittersweet love story woven into the background between the narrator, Benedict Deseo, and his point of view and back-story of events that involved him and the young Countess Bathory. We also appreciate the quest of a young man, Paul Nadasdy, who is trying to find out the truth about his mother and what really happened to her. Ultimately, there is a reckoning that comes at the end of the story, which leaves the reader an opportunity to imagine a happier ending for the characters (in the style of Atonement) than what may have been the harsh reality. Again, you have to have an open mind and not be squeamish or easily offended by S&M or homo-erotic sexuality to read this book, otherwise you will be deeply disturbed by it. If you can handle or read past certain scenes, then you will enjoy the emotional story behind it. Those who are quick to judge this book negatively simply cannot appreciate the history or back-story behind it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A "must read" regarding Elizabeth Bathory Nov. 7 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a striking book, suggesting that many pathologies occurred beyond the written record regarding the "blood countess" Bathory. Craft's interpretation is plausible, given the awful evidence we have at hand. It's written in a vivid fashion and shines a light on the horrible impact of servitude under feudalism. I had never really thought about this before, but sexual and physical abuse of servants must have been widespread under feudalism. This book brings it into bold relief.

Together, Craft's three books give us probably the most thorough and multidimensional picture of Elizabeth Bathory that we shall ever have. INFAMOUS LADY ably depicts the historical record of events; Bathory's LETTERS sheds insight into the perilous times Bathory faced and how such stress must have affected her; this MEMOIRE presents a plausible "between the lines" reading from the perspective of a trusted servant.

That's the whole picture -- as well as anyone can assemble it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Waste of time. March 28 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Infamous Lady and greatly enjoying it, I was excited to see that the author had also written a kind of historical fiction book about Countess Bathory. Unfortunately, this book seemed like a total afterthought. I felt like I was just reading excerpts from Infamous Lady, with a little bit of speculative filler in between each excerpt. There was very little "fleshing out" of these events. I was expecting everything to be retold passionately and descriptively, with lots of detail added. This is certainly not what was done, everything seemed really dry and rushed. Instead of forcing myself to finish this book, hoping at some point it would redeem itself (it didn't), I would rather have read a chapter at the end of Infamous Lady detailing the author's personal assertions regarding what was going on behind the scenes. Everything that she added in this book, she could have summed up in a couple pages, instead of dragging us through a whole book that has hardly any new material in it. Loved Infamous Lady, hated this one, I'm sorry!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A deliciously guilty pleasure Aug. 25 2011
By Loran Scollo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WOW is my first descriptive word for Prof. Kimberly Craft's new Countess novel. I had to keep reminding myself that this was only fiction - my jaw dropped and my eyes widened on certainly more than a few occasions.
It was wonderful to read Prof. Craft's personal thoughts and views on the Countess and her own ideas on what went on behind closed doors. I could not have asked for a better fictional book on the subject - reading this novel was, simply put, a guilty pleasure.
From beginning to end, it only took me under three hours to read this as it was just too delicious to put down. Extremely entertaining, at times horrifying, Prof. Craft captured the essence of the Countess to a T.
Thank you Kim, for writing yet another fantastic novel about our beloved Countess. All three novels are now displayed proudly on my bookshelf, with the hopes of more Countess novels to eventually join them.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A huge disappointment with such rich historical pickings! Feb. 23 2013
By Tash50Tash50 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was a let down on all fronts of writing...imagination, verbiage, character development, and intrigue. I felt that the characterization of these people we spend time with isn't fully developed. I know a little about the Countess prior to this book yet I walked away feeling as if there wasn't enough energy put into describing their motivations and reasoning. After all, this was the platform to combine facts of history with plausible imagination to yield a book that bridges the known historical gaps, right?

I think the book was dry and unimaginative due to the failure to accomplish that goal. I also felt the author, when she did utilize her imagination for dialogue, was found wanting on many occasions. First off, the sexual language used in the beginning to describe the Countess's marriage bed is historically inaccurate. So much so that I found the actual verbiage used, impossible to believe. It stopped me in my tracks. ( as a side note I have no issue with the use of curse words or sexual description, I'm not prudish, I just thought its context and usage here was a detractor and not believable. Not the acts themselves but how they are verbalized for that time period.)

Second, the dialogue and plot in and of itself is lacking insight or creativity. Is this really all the imagination that could be brought to such a vivid historical figure?

Third, for a love story, the portion that applied to love, is also very bland and I have a hard time believing it and the supposed strength of the love that bound them on the tiny portion of intro into it we are fed. The conclusion is equally blah.

I'm not one to pick movies over books, almost ever...but the movie The Countess gives a far more fully developed plot line, and more believable, even with the historical liberties it takes. At least you go from point A to Z with some degree of understanding.

The utilization of graphic violence (which did happen) seems like a cheap use. Where is the why, the how, the transition, the meat of the story? The violence should be included but explain why more fully.

The end was ungratifying and I didn't even have the will to wonder what the heck was that supposed to mean? If I didn't know a fig about the Countess, this book would not make me want to look into it more in depth. How sad! For what is more desirable in historical fiction than finding an itch that needs to be scratched by the story you read and going back to read the true known facts.

Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir are two purveyors of the craft who do just that and one chapter of their novels are more engaging and worthy than this could ever hope to be.

In short this is historical fiction that doesn't slake your thirst or make you more thirsty, it makes you wish you never bothered to get up to go get a glass full of what turns out to be sludge water.

The actual true record/presentation of historical facts are more salacious and gritty than this tale could ever be or hope to be, gaps or no.

A poor waste of such an interesting figure. My advice, don't let this tale (if your not in the know about the Countess) keep you from reading other material.

I really wished I could've liked it. I wanted to. I stuck with it hoping the direction of writing would change.

The only reason I'm giving it two stars instead of one is due to the framework used, but sadly wasted. I do like the idea of a story told through the losers side as well as that loser being a central figure telling their tale long past, to a party with a vested interest in what had occurred. It is by no means a new idea or format and sadly the delivery and plausibility of the specific pairing here doesn't work but I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who might want to read it and divulge more regarding that.

I can't fathom why this book garnered higher ratings.

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