austro hungarian monarchy

One weird concept in speculative and spy fiction is the vaguely Eastern European nation in which everyone seems to be a vaguely pre-WWI but also vaguely Nazi and Communist German aristocrat, a Hammer Horror Roma straight out of the 1800s, or a para-Russian gangster-peasant. There are almost never the South Slavic, Romanian, and Albanian names you would expect from such a nation in real life. Werewolves and vampires out the ass tho

Marvel is probably the biggest offender, with Latveria and the movie’s Sokovia, but it pops up everywhere even though the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s culture has pretty much been gone for 80 years.

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On Sunday the 24th of December 1837, Her Royal Highness Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie was born in Munich, Bavaria. Sisi, as she became known, was the fourth child of Duke Maximilian Joseph & Duchess Ludovika. She had been born one of fortune’s darlings as she was born on a Sunday & right during Christmas time. 

Ich bin ein Sonntagskind, ein Kind der Sonne;
Die goldnen Strahlen wand sie mir zum Throne,
Mit ihrem Glanze flocht sie meine Krone,
In ihrem Lichte ist es, dass ich wohne
.

[I am Sunday’s child, a child of the sun; / Her golden rays she wove into my throne, / With her glow she wove my crown, / It is in her light that I live.]

She grew up in a carefree environment where she was able to do as she wished & chase freedom. She was a child of the sun & of nature. She often skipped lessons to go horseback riding instead. She cared not for court protocols & always searched for more ways to spread her wings.

Sisi, a woman who lived for freedom, married Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph & became Empress Elisabeth of Austria at the age of sixteen. This marriage was an unhappy one. They were ill-matched & Sisi’s personality & constant search for freedom clashed with the Austrian court. 

As Empress, she became renowned for her beauty & her peculiarities. Her hair was considered her crowning glory & her beauty regimen is a source of interest for many. She shocked many people when it was revealed that she often exercised & used tight lacing to maintain her weight & thin waist line. She also became known for helping create the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy due to her great love for Hungary. She often preferred to stay in Hungary over Austria & this love for Hungary caused many to dislike her. 

Later in life, she withdrew from her court duties & she spent the rest of her days wandering & searching for the freedom she lost.