A Nervous Splendor: Vienna, 1888/1889

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Penguin Books, 1979 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages
17 Reviews
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.

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I still have nightmares about his clunky writing. - Goodreads
Frederic Morton is a terrible writer. - Goodreads
The writing was, for the most part, dry and impersonal. - Goodreads

Review: A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889

User Review  - Laurie Neighbors - Goodreads

Never has an in-depth account of a history-changing suicide pact been so much darn fun. Morton's prose is amazing -- he is compassionate, passionate, and snide, sometimes all in the same paragraph. I ... Read full review

Review: A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889

User Review  - Laurie - Goodreads

An easy to read survey of a brief period in the social history of Vienna. Illustrates and illuminates the mood of the period through brief biographical sketches of the major players in art, culture ... Read full review

Contents

Franz Joseph His Apostolic Majesty
248
Sigmund Freud in his passport photo for 1888
283
Theodor Herzl at twentyeight
303
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About the author (1979)

Frederic Morton was born in Vienna. Author of The Rothschilds, which became a hit Broadway musical, Mr. Morton has also written several novels. His short fiction has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, Playboy, and Hudson Review, as well as in Martha Foley's Best American Short Stories and other anthologies. He lives in New York City.

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