Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family and studied in Berlin and Vienna before making his name as a writer. His passionate, dramatic short stories and gripping biographies of major historical and literary figures, including Beware of Pity and The World of Yesterday, made him one of the most popular
writers in the world in the 1920s and 30s. During these years Zweig travelled widely, enjoying his literary fame and cultivating friendships with many of the great literary figures of his day. In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil.