Here is a little backstory on Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
I promised to continue my research, thoughts, etc. on Elizabeth Bathory, and I am here to deliver! ^_^. This is just a brief history of her childhood, her marriage to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, and the births of her children. In the next entry, I will actually go into the murders, and torture that Elizabeth inflicted upon her servants.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Erzsébe Báthory), also known as The Blood Countess was born into Hungarian nobility August 7, 1560 to father Baron George Bathory and mother Baroness Anna Bathory. She is considered to be one of the most prolific female serial killers with her victim count being as many as 650. Her parents were both Bathory’s by birth. inscest was a common practice in noble families in the 16th century in order to insure the purity of the family line.
The Countess was highly educated, especially for her time. Men, even of her nobility, were not even as educated as herself. She was fluent in Hungarian, Greek, and Latin. Even the men of this time were illiterate, and definitely less educated that the countess.
It is believed that Elizabeth was insane from childhood. She would have seizures possibly caused by epilepsy, followed by fits of rage. This is probably due to inbreeding, as it was common among noble families at that time. She also bore witness to the brutality that her family would inflict upon their servants.
Elizabeth was described as a tomboy. She would often dress like a boy, and wanted to be treated as well as her male relatives. She would engage in activities more common in young boys such as games, and sports including fencing. In addition dressing and acting like a male, rumor has it that Elizabeth was bisexual.
At the young age of 11, the countess was engaged to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, and they were married by 1575. Elizabeth kept her maiden name, and Ferenc became Ferenc Bathory-Nadasdy as his name didn’t hold the nobility that the Bathory name did. Though Nadasy was a skilled athlete and warrior, his mother said that “he was no scholar.” It is also said that he was as many as 15 years Bathory’s senior. Their age difference is inconclusive as I have found differences in each biography and article I have read.
After their marriage, Elizabeth became the mistress of the Nadasdy estate. Both Elizabeth and Ferenc were were cruel masters. Elizabeth’s cruelty was partly learned from childhood, bearing witness to the cruelty toward servants inflicted by her family, but Ferenc encouraged it, and is said to have shown her some of the ways he himself would punish the servants. It is uncertain as to whether or not Ferenc knew just how perverse and brutal Elizabeth actually was, but seeing as he was away so often, he probably had no idea.
Elizabeth was said to be a good wife in the presence of her husband, but Ferenc being a warrior by nature, was constantly away, Elizabeth had many lovers. Being open about her bisexuality, she didn’t limit herself to male lovers, and took female lovers as well.
The Countess, it seems, had birthed many children, and not all were from Count Ferenc Nadasdy. In 1574, Elizabeth was impregnated by a peasant whom she had taken as a lover. She laid low until giving birth to the child, then the child was given to an adoptive family of peasants. Elizabeth had three living children, her daughters Anna, Orsolya (Orsika), and Katalin (kata). The three girls were born between the years 1585 and 1594. In 1596, Elizabeth gave birth to her son András who died in 1603 at the age of 7. In 1598, she gave birth to her son Pál.
Alright. So that’s it for now. As I said during the introduction, I will make sure to write another post on Bathory, this time talking about her torturous ways. Here are a few links to some really well written biographies that I got my information from. If you want more detail, definitely check them out!