Erzsebet Bathory (1560-1614) is known to us today mainly as the “Blood Countess” and, in spite of some very competent statesmanship and intellectual achievement, one still has to say that it probably doesn’t make up for all the murdering she, personally, took part in. She tortured and killed in secret hundreds of young victims. The tale goes that she used their blood as bathwater to defy aging, but that’s probably not terribly accurate. Still, it makes for a middling-to-good film, as 2009’s The Countess showed.
PT Barnum was the huckster of hucksters – his autobiography makes for delightful reading, if you get a chance – a glimpse of a scoundrel brain traveling through the wastelands of rural America, and finding a way to make massive amounts of money by bringing them something wild and improbable to make one day at least somewhat different from the next.
– Count Dolby von Luckner