Descended from one of the most ancient aristocratic families of Europe, Erzsebet Bathory bore the psychotic aberrations of centuries of intermarriage. From adolescence she indulged in sadistic lesbian fantasies, where only the spilling of a woman's blood could satisfy her urges. By middle age, she had regressed to a mirror-fixated state of pathological necro-sadism involving witchcraft, torture, blood-drinking, cannibalism and, inevitably, wholesale slaughter. These years witnessed a reign of cruelty unsurpassed in the annals of mass murder, with the Countess' depredations on the virgin girls of the Carpathians leading to some 650 deaths. Her many castles were equipped with chambers where she would hideously torture and mutilate her victims, becoming a murder factory where hundreds of girls were killed and processed for the ultimate, youth-giving ritual: the bath of blood.The Bloody Countess is Valentine Penrose's disturbing case history of a female psychopath, a chillingly lyrical account beautifully translated by Alexander Trocchi (author of Cain's Book), which has an unequalled power to evoke the decadent melancholy of doomed, delinquent aristocracy in a dark age of superstition.