ON 10 SEPTEMBER 1898 the news shocked all of Europe: Empress Elizabeth of Austria murdered in Switzerland! Elizabeth’s tragic death ended a turbulent life marked by yearning and restlessness. Her assassination was the beginning of what was to become the “Sisi myth”, which found its culmination in the beloved Sisi films and lives on today. No other monarch in history has been posthumously stylized into such a radiant icon as Empress Elizabeth. The reality behind the façade, however, is all the more fascinating: an empress who breaks free of the corset of her position in order to live her own nonconformist, extravagant life away from the public eye.
This book leaves aside the conventional clichés, embarking instead on a search for the true character of Elizabeth of Austria, making use of the latest scholarly research, historic sources and authentic pictures from her life.