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European Royalty Discussions > Empress Elisabeth of Austria

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Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments I'm very interested in the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Can anyone recommend some books about her for me? I'd love to learn more about her.

I'm also interested in her family, especially her mother-in-law Sophie, her husband Franz Joseph, and especially, especially her son Rudolf.


message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments I haven't read anything about Empress Sisi, but I know others here have!
She sounds very interesting - even her wiki page is fun! Beautiful portraits of her.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabet...

The Reluctant Empress. looks really good - has pretty high ratings here at Goodreads.


message 3: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments There are two groups related just to the Habsburgs that might be of interest to you:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3...

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9...


message 4: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments I also found this one
Sisi Myth and Truth
which is supposed to be a nice introduction to her life, but probably wouldn't be great for you if you already know much about her.


message 5: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments One of my favourites is Sisi und ihre Familie.

A great one with pictures is:

Das österreichisch-ungarische Kaiserhaus 1860-1918


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments Thanks for all of the suggestions!

I'm going to order The Reluctant Empress from my library soon. And I'm already a member of the Empress Elisabeth and Family group. Unfortunately, I don't speak enough German to understand a German biography of her. Some day, though, I will... =)


message 7: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments The latter one that has lots of picture--you really don't need German, because it's pretty much pictures with captions of like "Kaisern Elisabeth, Kaiser Franz Josef, etc." =) The pictures are fabulous!


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments I just checked...my library doesn't have the book with the pictures. :(


message 9: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments You could probably get it through interlibrary loan. Stanford, Colubmia, Emory, and Georgetown own copies.


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments What's an interlibrary loan?

Sorry if that's a dumb question.


message 11: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 7 comments The Reluctant Empress is probably the best biography out there. Joan Haslip's The Lonely Empress Elizabeth of Austria is also pretty good, though frustrating in its lack of footnotes and occasional novel-like-ness (I mean, Ms Haslip comes up with what the people must be feeling in their hearts at this moment and then you have no way of verifying whether she had a source for it or just invented it). And Sisi - Myth and Truth is pretty good as well, though it's a small book and after reading the Reluctant Empress it will probably not have much new to you.

Sources written by those who knew the Empress in her life are also interesting - though most of those are in German so it will be difficult for you to read so far. Marie Larisch's My Past is in English, and hard to find but I've got a link to an online version hidden somewhere, I can dig it up for you if you're interested. I recommend reading some biographies first, though, because her memoirs aren't the most unbiased of sources and so you'd better know what is usually said before looking into what Marie Larisch says.


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments I've heard a lot of good things about The Reluctant Empress. I'm definitely going to read that. We have The Lonely Empress at the library, so I can check that out too.

I'm really new to learning about Elisabeth and Austria during her time, so I don't know very much. Who is Marie Larisch?

Thank you very much for the book recommendations. They are so helpful!



Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments I've heard a lot of good things about The Reluctant Empress. I'm definitely going to read that. We have The Lonely Empress at the library, so I can check that out too.

I'm really new to learning about Elisabeth and Austria during her time, so I don't know very much. Who is Marie Larisch?

Thank you very much for the book recommendations. They are so helpful!



Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments I've heard a lot of good things about The Reluctant Empress. I'm definitely going to read that. We have The Lonely Empress at the library, so I can check that out too.

I'm really new to learning about Elisabeth and Austria during her time, so I don't know very much. Who is Marie Larisch?

Thank you very much for the book recommendations. They are so helpful!



message 15: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments Rachel wrote What's an interlibrary loan?

Sorry if that's a dumb question.


Its when a library (i.e. your local library) borrows a book from another library for a patron. (i.e. the Boston Public Library borrows a book from the University of Colorado Public Library for a patron in Boston). Generally it takes a couple weeks, and the patron gets it for shorter amount of time with no renewals. I do it all the time, and it's great! I've gotten books I've wanted to read from all across the united states and also from the Netherlands, Australia, and Britain.


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 9 comments Wow, my library has a system where you can borrow books from other libraries in Central Massachusetts, but I never knew that it was possible to get books from libraries outside of the system.

How do you do it?


message 17: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 7 comments Marie Larisch was Elisabeth's niece, and for a long time was her trusted companion, but after the Mayerling scandal Elisabeth refused to have anything to do with her anymore, because of her role in it (she knew about Rudolf and Mary's relationship and much facilitated it). Later on she wrote lots of books about her memories of her time with Elisabeth, which can be interesting sources but are rather... colourful and sorting the truth from the gossip and invention is rather challenging. You'll be sure to run into her when you read some biographies or accounts of Rudolf's life and the Mayerling affair. I find her quite an interesting person, but most historians or the popular imagination don't tend to like her much. Still, her books are some of the most detailed accounts of Elisabeth's personal life, as long as you can figure out what to believe.


message 18: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) wrote: "Wow, my library has a system where you can borrow books from other libraries in Central Massachusetts, but I never knew that it was possible to get books from libraries outside of the system.

..."


I just did my first ILL - kept hearing about it here and had to try it!
My library has a form on their website that I tried to fill out, unfortunately the drop down menu on one of the fields was broken and wouldn't let me submit without it. Anyway, I asked at my library and they gave me a paper form to fill out. I was shocked at how quickly they were able to get the books for me - I had 2 volumes of The Two Diana's by Dumas (requested at Misfits recommendation) within 2 weeks.
The form was quick and easy to fill out, then the library did the rest of the work :)


message 19: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 85 comments From what Ive read and seen of Empress Elizabeth, she reminds me a lot about Princess Diana.

Both were incredibly young beautiful women who married emotionally distant husbands. Both had a hard time fitting into court life. Both found a niche in the public eye and both were known for extended vacations through Europe and beyond.
Both died tragically while traveling away from home.


message 20: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 7 comments No offence meant, but I must say I'm rather tired of the Elisabeth/Diana comparisons. Just because they both had some similarities in their lives and fates, doesn't mean it's worth making such a fuss about. I think they're quite separate individuals with different lives and the comparisons don't add much to understanding Elisabeth.


message 21: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 85 comments Im a student of history and so no offense was taken.
But I find it more than ironic that they had such similar backgrounds 100 years apart. You are right of course that they have quite distinctive personalities.

Ive always wondered what if any thoughts Diana had towards the Austro/Hungarian Empress?

My own interest in Elizabeth stems from the fact she was sister in law to our last emperor (Mexico)




Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments Frankly, I wonder if Diana had even heard of her.


message 23: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Really? I think she must have! I read an article about the monarchy systems that are still around today some time ago and it seems like they are still the "club" that they've always been.
I think Royalty is pretty well versed in past royalty - even if it's not of their own country.
Maybe not, though.



message 24: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 7 comments I would imagine that royalty would have to learn enough European history and history of important royal families that Diana would at least have known of Elisabeth, though whether she knew much of her or related to her is a different question. But I could be totally off, since I know nothing at all of what royals nowadays do and don't do. I'm more interested in history than I am in royals for the sake of being royals - hence I don't care one bit for Diana comparisons, I'm interested in Elisabeth because of herself and her times, not so that I could compare her to some modern-day princess who I have no interest in at all.


message 25: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I like comparisons not so much for how they compare the two people themselves but to try to get an idea for how others reacted to that person in the past compared to how others react to a person now (that might not make much sense - I know what I'm trying to say, but it's not coming across well). Like right now I'm reading about Eva Peron, and part of the book talked about how newspapers and magazines sold like crazy when they had lots of pictures and articles about her and what she wore. That made me think of Michelle Obama and how people are so interested in what she wears and what she does. I'm not really comparing Michelle to Evita, but I'm finding similarities with how people react(ed) to them both or what people find intriguing about them. I guess it somehow helps me relate better to the person in the past if I compare them with someone I'm a little more familiar with.


message 26: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 85 comments good point Sara.

Recently I was thumbing through old issues of LIFE magazine. If you are not familiar with LIFE, it was a great weekly oversize picture magazine published from 1936-1972.
I was thumbing through issues from the early 60's. It seemed every other magazine cover was the Kennedy's, either the President or his wife Jackie or their children. My mother mentions that she used to love seeing Jackie Kennedy .....because she was so young and stylish.
I was surprised to read some of the letters section of the magazine, from people complaining about yet "another magazine cover about "the royal family"


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments I think Life went back into publication - I believe it was a monthly between the late 70s and about ten years ago.


message 28: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments Actually, I believe it has since ceased publication again. I was discussing this with a friend a few months ago for some reason. It was a newspaper supplement for a while, but I believe ceased again about two years ago. I am sure there is more info on the internet.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments Yeah, I think it went back out of print again in about 2000. Newspaper suppliment I wouldn't know.


message 30: by Manuel (last edited Aug 18, 2009 12:09PM) (new)

Manuel | 85 comments The monthly stopped publishing in March 2000. It continued as a newspaper suppliment, however I didnt know that had stopped.
I know they still publish those special editions every once in a while. This month I saw special editions for Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. They had a special edition for Obama's inaugural which reminded me a lot of their Kennedy coverage from 1961


message 31: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne If anyone is able to read Dutch, here's a nice one I read about Sisi's later years and a bit about her son; http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44...


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