Constructing the Past


The Crown Prince Rudolf (1858-1889) was the heir of Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria, and his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria, the beauty of Europe. He was famous for his love affair with the then 17-year-old Baroness Mary Vetsera and their double-suicide in Mayerling. The death of the young and charming prince appalled turn-of-the-century Vienna. This paper briefly examines the life and death of the prince, which include his relationship with his family, his personal goals and pursuits, and his romantic involvement with Mary Vetsera.