Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a translator and later as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoying literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.
The World of Yesterday is ostensibly an autobiography but in truth it is much more than that. In this remarkably fine new translation, Anthea Bell perfectly captures Stefan Zweig's glorious evocation of a lost world, Vienna's golden age, in which he grew up and flourished. For all those interested in the culture of Europe, so savagely desecrated by the Nazis, I consider this book obligatory readingA" Ronald Harwood