― F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this book several years ago but I couldn't remember much about it. I came across another copy so I read it again. I remember hearing other people talk about it and it seemed there were three camps. There are those that loved it, those that hated it, and those were afraid to say what they thought about it.
Many of those that hated it had a problem with God being depicted as a black woman. I thought this was very clever because it brings out the prejudges of people. God is not black or white or male or female. Anyone who believes in God knows that God is not limited to any one of those things.
I really enjoyed the story, although it was very sad, but I enjoyed the way things were wrapped up. I got a lot out of the chapter A Morning of Sorrows which talked about forgiveness.
I have to admit I didn't like everything about this book and what was said and some things I will have to continue to chew on for a while. I do plan to go back to this book later and think about these things some more. I have ordered a hardcover copy for my permanent library.
The world loves a good Romeo and Juliet story because the average person tends to forget that Romeo was in love with Rosalind and Juliet was all of 13. Odds are, if they had married, Romeo would have had a mistress and Juliet would have died in childbirth.
Shakespeare has much blame to bear considering our fascination with star crossed lovers.
This fasciation extends to the Incident at Mayerling, though the name might not be familiar to you. If you have flipped through a catalog from PBS, Acorn or BBC America, you might have seen the ad for a mini-series about Sissi, Empress Elizabeth, or the movie about her son and his lover. That’s the incident at Mayerling. The crown prince of the Habsburg empire killed himself and his lover.
Unless you want to believe those conspiracy rumors and what not.
The real story isn’t quite film mini-series, and Greg King certainly does not describe Rudolf the Crown Prince, and Mary Vetsera, his lover, as star crossed lovers. She was 16, and King described as a bit spoiled. Rudolf was 30, married with a daughter, and he had transmitted an STD to his wife, Stephane, making her sterile.
You feel really sorry for Stephane.
You really don’t feel all that sorry for the Hapsburg, and you feel sorry for Mary in a “she was spoiled but young” type of way.
King shreds the romance from the story and quite righty, places it historical context. He also examines the conflicting stories and rumors as well as describing Vienna as the suicide capital of Europe. Apparently, romanticizing suicide goes way back. King treats all his subjects as fairly as possible.
„You mean talking about her – and me? With that face? And at her age?”
“She´s probably under fifty.”
“I suppose she is,” Sir Charles considered the matter. “But seriously, Tollie, have you noticed her face? It´s got two eyes, a nose and a mouth, but it´s not what you would call a face – not a female face. The most scandal-loving old cat in the neighbourhood couldn´t seriously connect sexual passion with a face like that.”
What a charming guy :-/