First published in 1953, this magical historical novel ostensibly describes the series of events which led to Bohemia's defeat by Austria at the Battle of the White Mountain, in the 16th century. But the Czech emigre author was probably inspired by the events of the Holocaust, so expertly does he re-create the uneasy alliances of Prague's Jewish and Catholic communities. While riding in the woods, Emperor Rudolf II, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, comes upon two men counting money destined for a member of the "persecuted race", Mordechai Meisl.
"Mystical, Magical 16th Century Austrian Folk Tale"
It could have been a common street accident that put Dr. Georg Amberg in the hospital, but for the five weeks his doctors say he has been in a coma, recovering from a brain hemorrhage after being run down by a car, he has memories of a more disturbing nature. What of the violent events in the rural village of Morwede? The old woman threatening the priest with a breadknife, angry peasants with flails and cudgels, Baron von Malchin with a pistol defending his dreams for the Holy Roman Empire...
A thief and a nobleman, both down on their luck, cross paths on a bitter winter’s day in 1701. One, known locally as "The Fowl-Filcher," is fleeing the gallows; the other, the callow Christian von Tornefeld, has escaped execution to fight for his Swedish king. Neither will reach his destination. Sent with a message to secure aid for von Tornefeld, the thief falls in love with his companion’s secret fiance.
Attending a recital at the home of his former mistress and her famous actor husband, Baron von Yosch is declared the suspect when the actor is murdered later that evening, and sets out to learn the truth in order to clear his name.
Vittorin, a young Austrian officer, has just been released from a Russian POW camp toward the end of the Great War. In Vienna his family, his girlfriend, and his old job await him, but Vittorin can’t think of settling down until he has settled the score with the sadistic camp commander, Staff Captain Selukov. Private obsession and political turmoil mix as Perutz leads his hero on a manhunt into the thick of the Russian civil war. In and out of prison, starving in the gutters of Moscow, thrown into revolutionary battle, Vittorin pursues his elusive quarry across postwar Europe. At each turn, he encounters only Fate’s joker, until, back in Vienna, Fate plays him the biggest joke of all.
Nacht für Nacht wird Kaiser Rudolf II in seinen Träumen von einer wunderbaren Frau heimgesucht. Wer ist sie? Warum ist sie da...