- Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Pushkin Press; Auflage: Reprint (20. September 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1906548374
- ISBN-13: 978-1906548377
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,6 x 3,1 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
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Mary Stuart (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. September 2011
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“What did Zweig have that brought him the fanatical devotion of millions of readers, the admiration of Herman Hesse, the invitation to give the eulogy at the funeral of Sigmund Freud? To learn that, we would have to have a biography that illuminated all aspects of his work, that read all of his books, and that challenged, rather than accepted, the apparent modesty of his statements about his life and work.” – Benjamin Moser, Bookforum
"Touching and delightful. Those adjectives are not meant as faint praise. Zweig may be especially appealing now because rather than being a progenitor of big ideas, he was a serious entertainer, and an ardent and careful observer of habits, foibles, passions and mistakes." — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"Zweig’s readability made him one of the most popular writers of the early twentieth century all over the world, with translations into thirty languages. His lives of Mary Stuart and Marie Antoinette were international bestsellers." — Julie Kavanagh, The Economist Intelligent Life
"Zweig’s accumulated historical and cultural studies, whether in essay or monograph form, remain a body of achievement almost too impressive to take in... Full-sized books on Marie-Antoinette, Mary Stuart, and Magellan were international best sellers." — Clive James, Cultural Amnesia
"Stefan Zweig cherished the everyday imperfections and frustrated aspirations of the men and women he analysed with such affection and understanding." — Paul Bailey, Times Literary Supplement
"To read Zweig is to be in the presence of a properly mature writer, for all that his characters are often in the grip of highly inappropriate desires." — Guardian
"Zweig is the most adult of writers; civilised, urbane, but never jaded or cynical; a realist who none the less believed in the possibility - the necessity - of empathy." — Independent
"Zweig’s genius as a storyteller encompasses the brainy as well as those of average intelligence, the very rich and the desperately poor. He deserves to be famous again, and for good'." — Times Literary Supplement
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a translator and later as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoying literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.
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He proposes that the contentious relationship between Mary and Elizabeth was mostly due to the fact that they were women and were ruled by their emotions. He even states at one point that if Mary and Elizabeth were men their problem would have been easily rectified because they just would have gone to war. Although Mary made no bones about the fact that she felt she was the rightful heir to the English throne, she constantly reassured Elizabeth that what she actually wanted from her was a declaration that she was to succeed Elizabeth upon her death. Elizabeth on the other hand always was insecure about the validity of her claim to being the rightful heir and felt great unease at the very existence of Mary. She was of the opinion, and probably rightfully so, that putting Mary's request in writing would be tantamount to signing her own death warrant. Mary's claim was based not on emotion but law and Elizabeth's reaction was not without grounds especially in 16th century Europe. Both opinions were well reasoned given the facts of the situation and neither queen felt the need to relinquish her position.
A pivotal part of Mary's life and subsequent execution is her alleged involvement in her second husband's--Lord Darnley-- murder. Zweig attaches great importance to Mary's lack of reaction to his death. Depending on which historian you read Mary is anything from an innocent dupe to a cold blooded murderer (Antonia Fraser makes a good case in her book for her innocence). He feels that you can surmise her guilt by the fact that Mary did not grieve in the same fashion as she did for her first husband Francis II of France. He fails to take into account that the grieving ritual in Catholic France which required 45 days of confinement to a room hung in black was quite different than in Protestant Scotland. Mourning a French king was a well prescribed tradition. Interestingly, at the end of the 45 days Mary went on a tour of France visiting friends and family and sending emissaries to the various royal houses to advise them she was eligible for marriage. One can argue that her grieving for Francis met only the minimal expectations. Perhaps she was just not much of a public mourner. Her cold reaction to Darnley's death may have had more to do with the fact that she no longer loved or even liked Darnley; however, that is hardly proof of murder.
When Mary makes the error of seeking refuge in England after being essentially dethroned Elizabeth has her imprisoned. Mary's claims to the throne while ensconced in Scotland did not hold as much gravity as when she was actually present on English soil. Thus begins the nineteen year odyssey of Mary's illegal imprisonment by Elizabeth. When Elizabeth finally agrees to have Mary's case heard regarding her involvement in the murder the famous casket letters come to light. Zweig who quotes many of these letters in his book is of the opinion that they were all written by Mary and further implicate her. Yet none of the originals were ever produced just copies (Mary demanded the originals be presented at her "trial" to no avail). He makes the argument that the letters had to be written by Mary because they were written in French and almost no one in backward Scotland would have spoken French so forgery was unlikely. Yet Mary had a court of many French speakers. Mary actually stated that she thought her secretary who spoke and wrote French forged many of the documents because he had intimate knowledge of her handwriting. Elizabeth herself did not feel the letters held much weight. Even today no one knows what the actual truth is.
Ironically, I think this book is well worth the read. It offers an in depth look into Mary's life. Zweig actually feels that Mary was wronged by Elizabeth and that her execution was unwarranted and presaged the executions of Charles I and Marie Antoinette. However, his perspective that Mary's problems were due to her emotional makeup seems way off the mark and antiquated. This is a woman who when her lords first rebelled against her she packed on her pistols, got her army together and personally brought them to heel. She was intelligent, clever and brave but she was also ill prepared to be queen of a protestant country that she left when only five years old and needless to say she totally misread the type of person and ruler Elizabeth actually was. Mary Queen of Scots always will remain one of the most enigmatic characters in history and probably no two biographers will ever agree totally on what motivated her.
Zweig is a superb writer and story teller in addition to being a serious historian. It is really 2 bios in one, as other reviews have said: the story of Mary Queen of Scots must integrate with that that of Elizabeth 1, and Zweig does this very well.
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