She was a princess, the daughter of King Leopold II of the Belgians, the wife of a prince, and a familiar figure in the court of the aged Emperor, Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. Her lover was second lieutenant Geza Mattachich. Ten years younger than the princess, a dashing figure in his fitted tunic and shiny boots, he was an unknown, undistinguished, unmoneyed subaltern: a man of dubious origin and extravagant ambition. Ahead of them both lay assignations, adultery, flight, the squandering of a fortune (not his; not hers either, as things worked out), a duel, imprisonment, bankruptcy, morphine, madness (or alleged madness). And, as well, a real-life heroine - in the form of canteen-worker Maria Stoger - who was no less ready than the princess and her soldier to risk all for love.
Beautifully handled, romantic, sumptuous, full of wit and a real treat to read, the action of Dan Jacobson's All For Love moves from one end to the other of pre-First World War Europe.
Constantly fusing historical fact with fiction, it elevates three extraordinary characters from the footnotes of history and puts them, along with their few friends and many enemies, at the centre of a drama that is both comic and painful, and as astonishing as it is convincing.
Publication date: 03/02/2005
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||3rd February 2005|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
Dan Jacobson was born in South Africa. He is the author of novels, collections of short stories, critical works and volumes of travel-writing and autobiography, including the acclaimed Heshelâ€™s Kingdom. His short stories, reviews and critical essays have appeared in a variety of journals in Britain and the United States. His books have won him several major literary prizes, including the John Llewellyn Rhys Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the H.H.Wingate Award and the J.R.Ackerley Prize for Autobiography. Dan Jacobson lives and writes in London. He retired a few years ago from a professorship in ...More About Dan Jacobson