Use this page to access on-line editions of the book My Past by Countess Marie Larisch (see how below.)
This website contains a small repository for a number of books, short stories and essays either not found elsewhere on the web or introduced here first. Visit the page listing the other texts
This page will point to different versions of the book but currently (March 30, 2003) there is only one version available. Please do not link directly to that page. The name and location of the file is likely to change. Link to this page instead.
My Past was written in English and published in 1913 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. It was actually ghost-written by Maude Mary Chester ffoulkes. It was written partly to clear her name from the infamy attached to it by her part in the Meyerling scandal and that is good reason not to take the Countess' word for everything.
Countess Larisch became an outcast after the Mayerling affair of 1889. This involved the deaths of her cousin Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera. Countess Larisch became persona non grata because she had introduced Mary and Rudolph and, even by her own accounts, she had been serving as a go-between for Rudolph and Mary and was passing money from the Prince to the Baroness.
Crown Prince Rudolf was the only son of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. He died on January 30, 1889, at the his hunting lodge "Mayerling" (sometime Mayerling.) Also dead was Baroness Mary Vetsera, his 17 year old mistress. To this day what happened is debated--was it a double suicide, a murder/suicide or was it even a double murder?
My Past tells of these events but also of the life in Empress Elisabeth's court. Larisch was the Empress' niece and was for a number of years the Empress' confidante. Some eccentricities in the Bavarian royal family of Wittlesbach and the Habsburg imperial family of Austria-Hungry are also described.
The book will be of interest to historians, geneologists, fans of European nobility and royality, and T.S. Eliot researchers (Marie Larisch was the Marie mentioned in Eliot's poem The Waste Land.)
In 1896 Countess Larisch was divorced from Count George Larisch and by 1913 was married to Otto Brucks, a musician, and so technically was entitled to neither Larisch's title nor his name but it was the name with which she had gained her infamy and the one that would have sold more books. She had, however, the lesser title of Baroness since a few days after her birth.
More information about Countess Marie Larisch is available at URL http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/thewasteland/exmarie.html.
Also, the following books may be of interest:
Books about the Meyerling (or Mayerling) scandal may also mention Marie's part in the scandal. Some books on Mayerling are listed at http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/thewasteland/exmarie.html#Mayerling-Today.
I have the intention to produce a few on-line editions editions of My Past. Currently there is only one.
The version of My Past that is available now is an attempt to produce a facsimile version of the book (minus illustrations.) It contains page headers and numbers, a table of contents for each chapter and even advertisements put in by the publisher. These interrupt the flow of the text. The markup for the book is done with a combination of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets.) If your browser does not render CSS much of the look of the facsimile edition will be lost. The size of the file is about 570 KB.
Later editions will be edited versions of this file and may allow the blind to have the text read to them by computer programs without these distractions.