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C4P: Tatiana Fajardo - The Bloodlust of Elizabeth Báthory: From the Brothers Grimm to American Horro

Luna's third Call for Papers, A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction will be released on Wednesday the 14th of August, at Dublin Worldcon. Explore the 21 brilliant papers you will find in the book.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Tatiana Fajardo (Spain). MLitt in the Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling. Researcher and Writer.

Presenting the paper: The Bloodlust of Elizabeth Báthory: From the Brothers Grimm to American Horror Story.

Tatiana says:

"This article aims to depict the evolution of the historic Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Báthory through her presentation in various pieces of fiction over time. To do so, four main characteristics of the Countess will be analysed in comparison to examples from popular culture: her notorious vanity and how it is echoed in the Brothers Grimm’s Little Snow White (1812), her alleged bisexuality connected with Sheridan Le Fanu’s Gothic novella Carmilla (1871-1872), her means of torture as illustrated in Alejandra Pizarnik’s La Condesa Sangrienta (The Bloody Countess) (1965), and her role as a mother captured in season five of the TV series American Horror Story (2015-2016). Despite the fact that each characteristic emerges in all of the aforementioned fiction, each will be scrutinised separately with their corresponding narrative. In the context of Báthory’s domains of wealth, authority and vampirism, a Jungian approach will be developed to examine the Countess’s persona and the diverse archetypes she embodies.

Countess Elizabeth Báthory was born in the Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburgh Monarchy, in 1560 as a member of the Báthory family, one of the most powerful dynasties in the region. She was the niece of Stephen Báthory, the king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania as well as prince of Transylvania. Despite this aristocratic background and wealth, the clan was feared for its cruelty, and some of Elizabeth’s relatives created a dark legend around their figures. For instance, Lady Klára Báthory, Elizabeth’s aunt on her father’s side, has been remembered in the histories as an insatiable bisexual adventuress, and may have been the person who introduced Elizabeth to sadomasochism.

The alleged mental disorders in the family may have been the result of inbreeding among the kin, since they did not wish their blood to be fused with that of others. Elizabeth is thought to have suffered from epilepsy and to have been deranged. The Countess is remembered as the most notorious of the Báthorys, primarily due to the rumour of her vampiric tendencies, a perspective this article will analyse. This version of her persona is based on the belief that she murdered more than 650 young girls, allegedly to obtain blood from the virgins in order to restore her youthfulness. She was condemned for her atrocious crimes and imprisoned in her own castle, where she died in 1614. But who was Elizabeth Báthory in reality? Was she the monstrous devil portrayed in novels, films and TV series? The legend of her persona has been employed in numerous narratives, yet there is little information about the historical figure behind them. This article will begin with the study of a popular fairy-tale by the Grimm Brothers, one of the earlier presentations of Báthory, and how she emerges in it."

Tatiana Fajardo completed her MLitt in the Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling (Scotland), writing her dissertation on the employment of art and science in Patrick McGrath’s novels. She began a blog in which she discusses her literary, cinematic and artistic interests in 2017. Passionate about Gothic literature, her blog post on Dracula’s ‘‘Bloofer Lady’’ was published by Sheffield University. Some of her essays have been translated into Swedish and published by Rickard Berghorn, both on his online Weird Webzine and in his printed books Studier I vart (2018) and Två fantasistycken (2018). These include her analyses of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf (1968). She presented her study of the employment of Romantic poets in the TV series Penny Dreadful (2014-2016) at the IGA conference in Manchester in August 2018. Tatiana combines her work as a researcher with her job as an English teacher in Spain. Follow her at and on Twitter @Tatiana19796

Follow the progress of A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction on the "Books in Progress" page!


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