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An eclectic collection of four brilliant stories, including a Renaissance tragedy and an English whodunit
These four stories illustrate the wide range of Zweig’s subject matter dating from quite early in his career as a writer of fiction (The Governess, rooted in a world of strict Edwardian morality), to late (Did He Do It?, almost an English detective story set near Bath, where Zweig lived in exile). In addition The Miracles of Life, set in 16th-century Antwerp during the time of Protestant iconoclasm, and Downfall of a Heart both address the theme of anti-Semitism.
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was born in Vienna, into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and was an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear.
In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London, where he wrote his only novel Beware of Pity. He later moved on to Bath, taking British citizenship after the outbreak of the Second World War. With the fall of France in 1940 Zweig left Britain for New York, before settling in Brazil, where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in an apparent double suicide.
Much of his work is available from Pushkin Press.