Happy Valentine’s Day to my wonderful supporters! Here’s a little background on our friend Erzsebet and her marriage to Ferenc....
At the age of 11 Erzsebet was engaged to then 15 year old Ferenc Nadasdy, and four years later on May 8th 1575 they wed. Their wedding was a large affair of 4,500 guests and would have included the most powerful and influential people in the Kingdom of Hungary. Erzsebet’s social and political standing as a member of the Bathory family was greater than that of her husband and, in a serious break from tradition, she refused to take the Nadasdy name.
As a wedding gift, Ferenc gave Erzsebet Cachtice Castle, located in the Little Carpathians in what is now Slovakia. The castle and the surrounding 17 villages were transferred to Erzsebet and it was where her legendary and horrific deeds would be committed. The remains of the castle today is surrounded by villages and agricultural lands, bordered by outcrops of the Little Carpathians and looks quite similar today as it did when it was given to her.
While their marriage was most certainly a political arrangement, both Ferenc and Erzsebet were well suited to each other and seemed to have, for all intents and purposes, a happy marriage. Ferenc would go to battle and learn new torture techniques that he’d bring home to his wife. Interestingly, however he seemed to have a calming effect on Erzsebet and it was reported that when he was at the castle, the frequency of her torture and murder episodes declined.
I guess there really is someone out there for everyone.
Hi All! Thanks for your continued support both online and off! I’ve been working hard since my last update and wanted to let you know how things were going!
I want to get the whole story, even if a scene only has one sentence so far, written down. I want the bones, so speak, of the story so I can start layering on the musculature and nerve endings. What you’ve seen so far is a few bones with some atrophied muscles, so in the most recent update (Check out the NEW draft of chapter 1) you may see some subtle shifts, deletions, and additions. Knowing the larger structure of the story, I was able to tweak the opening moments of the book.
I also have been toying with overarching themes and secondary stories to enrichen the story and add depth of the characters. As I go through and edit, I’m finding that, thankfully, some of the themes are already there in the first few chapters, unknowingly written in during the early stages.
Most importantly I’ve been absorbing anything I can get my hands on. I spent a day researching Hungarian myths, supernatural beings and the traditional creation story (golden ducks diving to the bottom of the ocean), and have read about traditional Hungarian dishes and meal customs. I’ve searched Cachtice Castle on Google Earth, and looked out over the digital view from where Erzsebet once stood. I mapped the distance and terrain shifts that Kata and Erzsebet would have be subjected to as they traveled from Erzsebet’s childhood home to Cachtice, and the surrounding villages she would have known.
I’ve tried to throw myself into this world, as much as one can from across the world in modern day, not necessarily to educate, but to provide an authentic experience for the reader. So much of our lives are experienced through the thoughtless rituals and values of our society and history, and the characters I’m attempting to bring to life would have the same influences from their world.
So, thank you all so much for continuing to provide me your thoughts and encouragement! I hope to be satisfied with the next chapter soon so I can post it for you! I’ll also be working on finalizing a prologue with a neutral character observing Erzsebet as a child.