Raymond T. McNally - Dracula Was A Woman (Hamlyn, 1985: originally Robert Hale, 1984)
In Search Of The Blood Countess Of Transylvania
Back cover blurb:
Vampires .... werewolves .... ghouls ....
From a dark castle in a lonely forest echoed the screams of tortured servant-girls ... and even in an era when cruelty was rife, the hardened populace of Hungary shuddered. Such is the stuff of legend.
In 1611 the wealthy Countess Elizabeth Bathory went on trial for atrocities committed by herself and her trusted retainers. It was rumoured that up to 700 young girls had been murdered to slake the Countess's bloodlust - and so a vampire legend was born.
This enthralling account follows a quest through the forests of Transylvania in search of the real Elizabeth Bathory — finally uncovering a truth more horrifying than myth. And including a fascinating study of the whole vampire/werewolf tradition.
'Non-fiction' in as much as these things can be, but you can see the appeal to Hamlyn as the life and crimes of Elizabeth Bathory read like something from one of their beloved 'nasties'. McNally, who had previous in the field having published In Search Of Dracula (NEL, 1975) with long-term collaborator Radu Florescu and the A Clutch Of Vampires anthology, loving chronicles all the instances of the blood Countess's tortures versus young women - the Hammer Countess Dracula is Bathory-lite in comparison. There's a lengthy bibliography/ filmography at the end which, I seem to recall, owes much to Martin V. Riccardo's Vampires Unearthed (Garland, 1983) .....
Many .... nonfiction writers spurred my interest, including Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally. When Vampires Unearthed came out, I sent a notice about it (as a courtesy) to various writers, including McNally. To my surprise, when McNally's book Dracula was a Woman came out, I discovered that the bulk of the bibliography in the back was lifted directly from Vampires Unearthed, right down to the arbitrary categories I divided the works in, and the style of listing movies and their actors. Other material from Vampires Unearthed is incorporated in his book. If he had given any acknowledgement to Vampires Unearthed (which was a long and arduous effort to put together), I wouldn't have minded. My work is nowhere mentioned in his book. Since both books came out in 1983, the average person would have no way of knowing who stole from whom. Let us hope there is more honor among vampires.
Martin V. Riccardo, interviewed by Eric Held, Vampire Information Exchange Newsletter #53 (April, 1991)
Reveille, 14 March 1975. Reproduced in Peter Haining's delicious The Dracula Scrapbook (Nel, 1976)
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.