Schnitzler's century : the making of middle-class culture, 1815-1914

by Peter Gay

Paper Book, 2002




New York : Norton, c2002.


Schnitzler's century reassesses nineteenth-century history and traces the dramatic rise of the middle class. We have always believed that corseted Queen Victoria defined the mores of the nineteenth century. Yet cultural historian Peter Gay asserts in this work that it is the sexually emboldened Viennese playwright, Arthur Schnitzler, who provides a better symbol for the age. Challenging many sacrosanct notions about middle-class prudery and hypocrisy, he shows that in important ways, the Victorians were not Victorians. Gay chronicles the rise of modernity in countries as diverse as Germany and Italy, England and the United States, and in doing so presents a century filled with science and superstition, revolutionaries and reactionaries, and eros and anxiety--an age that made us largely what we are today.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jwhenderson
Using Arthur Schnitzler's writings as a centerpiece Peter Gay narrates a cultural history of the century that ended with the conflagration of the "Great War". This is a depiction of the Victorian era and middle classes that is different and surprisingly entertaining.


Connecticut Book Award (Finalist — Nonfiction — 2003)


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