From Habsburg agent to Victorian scholar: G.G. Zerffi, 1820-1892

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Social Science Monographs, 2000 - True Crime - 469 pages
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A celebrated art historian and scholar of Japan, G. G. Zerffi also had a secret life as a well-paid Austrian secret agent. More than a biography of Zerffi, this book offers a rare glimpse into the secret service of the nineteenth-century Habsburg monarchy -- the precursor of all modern secret services in Europe and beyond -- while also serving as a guide to the history of the Hungarian revolution, the war of independence of 1848-49, and the international exile of European revolutionaries. Through the example of Zerffi's life, Tibor Frank examines how the secret police were used by the state to repress individual rights through intimidation and coercion, and by way of tracing Zerffi's rise as a scholar, also provides a survey of the possible ways and traps of nineteenth-century intelligentsia.

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About the author (2000)

Tibor Frank, M.A., Dr.Univ., Ph.D., D.Litt. is Professor of History and Director of the School of English and American Studies at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. He has taught frequently at universities in the USA (UCSB, UCLA, Nevada-Reno, Columbia). In 2002 he won the prestigious German Humboldt Research Award and spent the academic year 2003-04 in the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany. Professor Frank is a corresponding fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London.

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