Publisher: De Gemeenschap
The Imperial Crypt, the burying place of Austrian Emperors, is here a symbol for the bygone Danube Monarchy. The novel is set just before, during, and after World War I, and it ends with the so called Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich in 1938. The central characters are – like in The Radetzky March – the members of the Trotta family who in the turmoil of the after-war period of 1918 become uprooted and without resources. Throughout the book, the leitmotif reappears: the sadness after the lost way of life that was linked to tradition and firm fabric of the monarchic system of government. Like in Roth’s complete work, also this novel reflects the destiny of people who were struck, not just financially but also emotionally, by the downfall of the Austrian Monarchy.