A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889
On January 30, 1889, at the champagne-splashed hight of the Viennese Carnival, the handsome and charming Crown Prince Rudolf fired a revolver at his teenaged mistress and then himself. The two shots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods echo still. Frederic Morton, author of the... show more
On January 30, 1889, at the champagne-splashed hight of the Viennese Carnival, the handsome and charming Crown Prince Rudolf fired a revolver at his teenaged mistress and then himself. The two shots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods echo still. Frederic Morton, author of the bestselling Rothschilds, deftly tells the haunting story of the Prince and his city, where, in the span of only ten months, "the Western dream started to go wrong." In Rudolf's Vienna moved other young men with striking intellectual and artistic talents—and all as frustrated as the Prince. Among them were: young Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Theodor Herzl, Gustav Klimt, and the playwright Arthur Schnitzler, whose La Ronde was the great erotic drama of the fin de siecle. Morton studies these and other gifted young men, interweaving their fates with that of the doomed Prince and the entire city through to the eve of Easter, just after Rudolf's body is lowered into its permanent sarcophagus and a son named Adolf Hitler is born to Frau Klara Hitler.
Publish date: October 30th 1980
Pages no: 352
Edition language: English
A shot rings out in Austria in 1888, it's echoes are still heard and the questions about young male suicide are still being asked and unanswered by society and science.
This book is fairly good, though narrow and somewhat overwritten (too novelistic -- the author is, after all, a novelist, and not an historian). The truth is that I grew a bit impatient with it, as the topic continued to narrow even after the suicide of Rudolph, rather than broadening out to take on...
Bob Gore loaned this book to us in response to our plea for information about Austria and Switzerland. I was unsure of its interest for me at first, fearing that it might be little more than a condensed version of the scholarly work that kept popping up on all my book searches called The History of ...