The sixteenth-century is an unsolved cold case. Many unsolved mysteries remain, involving the principal protagonists and antagonists, the seven dynasties responsible for epic upheavals: Bathory, Bourbon, Habsburg, Osman, Stuart, Tudor, and Valois, imperialists or reformists all. The names of criminal suspects among them have always been known, but there was never enough evidence to indict them. Their victims died without cause or vanished, often without a trace, while the suspects wrote laws. Thus, there were no crimes. Their beholden historians ensured the historical whitewash became truth. This is not that kind of book. To the civilised western mind, European historical glory of the imperial triumph ends where good and evil is marked at the frontiers where Anglo-Saxon languages end and Slavic-Turkic begin. Any further beyond this demarcation line, there be dragons. It's true. Literally, there were dragons there. The last Bathory went extinct in 1680, and then their world was cast on the ash heap of dead civilisations in 1711. The land of dragons became a curiosity, a dark place for travelling British gentlemen to visit, step into the realm of myth, and see if the dark legends of the evil Slav and Turk were true. They all paid homage to a crime scene involving the most enigmatic dragon of them all, Elizabeth Bathory. Then they travelled to the land of the other dragons, the land of the Turk. There, they discovered that, in fact, dragons had lived among their ancestors too. And when they returned home from their journeys, they searched for evidence in their public and private archives and discovered that, in fact, the last dragons were at the centre of all European history. The purpose of this book, is to give voice to muted voices of ancestral voices of reason, to tell the story of these dragons, their struggle, and of the consequences of their extinction. History bears testament to humanity's repeated successes at spectacular failures, its "necessary tragedies," of imperialists and reformers.
Most of sixteenth-century history is a complex criminal cold case. The Habsburg Empire and the Roman Vatican were desperately fighting for self-preservation. The man who ignited the Reformation was the most dangerous heretic alive. He unhinged a spiritual faith fundamental to the eminent European powers, the Holy Roman Empire and Holy Roman See. Yet, history has never explained why neither emperor nor the pope's Inquisition allowed Luther to not only live but thrive, prosper, while others died around him by the thousands. Why did others burn for a minute fraction of Luther's heresies? And what of all the Bathorys, several Osman sultans, Nassau-Dillenburg, the last Tudor, the first Stuart, Rome's popes and two Habsburg emperors, among many others who were assassinated? The biggest mystery is what made the Bathorys, namely the King of Poland, Stephen Bathory and his niece, Elizabeth Bathory, for that matter so powerful? And what of the eminent military superpower, the Osman Sultanate. If history is to be believed, the Osman Sultanate intended to destroy Christendom. Yet, when they invaded Habsburg Imperial Hungary, their advance stopped south of the Danube, between Habsburg Imperial Hungary in the west and Bathory Ungaria in the east. Other mysteries include the nefarious missions of Scottish Jesuits in Poland, England, and Transylvania, the irrational acts of Mary Queen of Scots that led to her downfall, the paternity of her son, James VI Stuart of Scotland, his mother's successor and that of the last Tudor, the English Queen Elizabeth I's that died so inexplicably. James VI ruled as James I of England, but he also had close ties with Jesuits. And why were Jesuits feared? History books may exalt a conqueror's glories but never celebrates its conquered peoples' achievements, but not in this book, which shines a light on a struggle against empire before liberty was lost. This story is about an extinct civilisation and extinct dragons. It's about mine, your ancestors, and of empires and their serviles who presumed they lived free.