Thursday, March 30, 2006


My mother generously lent me her copy of The Habsburg Twlight: Tales from Vienna (Sara Gainham), since so much of my reading of late is on the Habsburgs. Among other things, this book contains a picture of the Empress Elisabeth, (wife of Emperor Francis Joseph). Elisabeth was the next to last Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, who lived from 1837 until her murder by an Italian anarchist in 1898. Her life, and that of her husband, was marked with tragedy and difficulty, (their son was a suicide), but the books all say the Empress was widely reckoned to be, among other things, a great beauty.
Boy, for once the books wern't lying. I don't usually notice such things in photographs of 19th Century women: photography and fashion of that era conceal more than they reveal. I also have a great deal of respect for this woman's husband, the Atlas holding up his ramshackle Empire; and compasion for his tragic Empress, (who hated life at the Habsburg court), but the beauty of this woman just jumps off the page. I can see why Francis Joseph was, until the end of his days, besotted with Elisabeth. Wow, what a babe.


hank_F_M said...

El Jefe

Is this the lady? More pictures on the sidebar.

While no comparison to my lady love, I must say you are right.

El Jefe Maximo said...


Da very same...