Sisi -Tragic Empress of Austria

Ref: C2419838

In 1854 Emperor Franz Joseph married his cousin, the beautiful Elisabeth of Bavaria. Wherever 'Sisi' went, she attracted rapturous attention, and she became one of the celebrities of the day. But she was unhappy in her marriage and her relationships with her children were troubled. She took refuge from the ceremonies of court life in diet and exercise, in riding to hounds and in endless foreign holidays. The great tragedy of her life occurred when her son, Rudolf, committed suicide after murdering his mistress. She herself was to be assassinated by an Italian anarchist.

Course aim

To describe the life of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary and to place her in the context of the politics and culture of the late nineteenth century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the main events of the life of the Empress Elisabeth
  • Have some grasp of the politics of nineteenth-century Europe and in particular the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Recognise the importance of gender in Elisabeth's life

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The feedback will be appropriate for a two-hour lecture.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Sisi -Tragic Empress of Austria


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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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