Constructing the Past

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Amidst the dramatic background of Vienna in the 1890s, a romance quickly developed between the Crown Prince Rudolf and a young socialite, Mary Vetsera. Ultimately this romance would end in tragedy with their fateful murder suicide at Mayerling. The circumstances surrounding the Crown Prince’s death have been widely written about, but questions regarding Mary Vetsera’s motives still linger. Using the memoirs of one of Mary’s best friends and research into those last days at Mayerling, this paper outlines the pressures in Mary’s life and attempts to uncover some reasons why she would enter into a suicide pact with Prince Rudolf.