The House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty Book Recommendation




Book Details

  • Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (January 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477808647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477808641

In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Čachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.
400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.

The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life.

Inspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty (The Bloodletter’s Daughter and The Drowning Guard). The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating.

About the Author
The daughter of a naval commander, Linda Lafferty attended fourteen different schools growing up, ultimately graduating from the University of Colorado with a master’s degree and a PhD in education. Her peripatetic childhood nourished a lifelong love of travel, and she studied abroad in England, France, Mexico, and Spain. Her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo when she was just ten years old, and she enjoys playing to this day. She also competed on the Lancaster University Riding Team in England in stadium jumping, cross country, and dressage. A veteran school educator, she is the author of The Bloodletter’s Daughter and The Drowning Guard. She lives in Colorado.

Book Recommendation Only, Not a Review.



Here are three history lessons that aren’t quite what you learned in class:

Saucy Sagas: For what crime was Joan of Arc burned at the stake?

Joan of Arc is a monumental female figure in history,  renowned for her bravery and wit. She was born to a lowly farming family, though by the age of seventeen had managed to become the leader of the French army. Her story began when she claimed to have a vision in which the Archangel Michael told her she must raise an army to drive the English out of France. Joan continued to hear voices, and was urged to dress up as a man and convince the Dauphin to give her an army. She proved successful, and her troops won a series of victories. Unfortunately, Joan was taken prisoner in 1430 and sold to the English. She was put on “trial” though was not allowed to defend herself. Much to the horror of the English, her clever testimonies won her the favor of spectators and witnesses. So much so that her trial was made private, and she was eventually sentenced to life in prison. Seeking a pretext to execute Joan, she was charged with wearing men’s clothing, and burned at the stake the following day. Whether dressed in men’s clothing as part of a trap, or to protect herself from rape, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for the crime of cross-dressing.

Saucy Sagas: The Coronation of King Eadwig of England

Eadwig became king of England in 955. Given that he was 15-years-old, it’s not surprising that kingdom duties were not high on his list of priorities. Shortly after Eadwig’s coronation, the abbot of Glastonbury noticed the young king was missing from the celebratory banquet. When the abbot went to look for Eadwig, he discovered him in bed with two women: the young Aelfgifu and her mother Aethelgifu. Disgusted, the abbot physically dragged Eadwig back to the feast and forced him to denounce Aelfgifu as a “strumpet”.  This caused a long-standing feud between the two, leading to the abbot’s exile, and conflict with the church and nobility for the remainder of his short reign.

Notable Nomenclature: Why are the british royal family called Windsor?

Since the reign of George V, the royal family have been called Windsor. When George V aceded the throne in 1910, he did so as a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The origins of this house were German, and in fact, much of the British royal family have been chiefly German in descent. During WWI, George’s loyalty was questioned due to his Germany routes. Outraged, George issued a royal proclamation, declaring that he and his descendants would be known henceforth as the House of Windsor. Why Windsor? It sound decidedly English. Other names considered were York, Lancaster, Tudor-Stuart and even England,  itself.

Book Recommendation only and not a review by me.