Our Own Set

IDB ProductionsPrice: Free

A frightfully underrated novel depicting a highly dynamic, multi-faceted portrait of Viennese society at the end of the 19th century, Our Own Set is one book you’ve probably never heard about that can still be counted among the literary works of “giants” the likes of Jane Austen.

This short but incredibly wise, eloquent and humorous novel was written by Aloisia Kirschner under the pseudonym of Ossip Schubin. Her works showed great promise near the end of the 1880s, particularly in Germany and Austria, but also having a wide English readership until the start of the first World War. Raised as the daughter of a nobleman in Prague and in a castle in Bohemia, Kirschner knew a great deal about the Viennese nobility, and her insight, coupled with her impressive literary talent and highly observant nature, allowed her to write some of the most complex and amusing novels depicting the Austrian high society.

Our Own Set takes place in Rome, in 1870, where a group of noblemen from Austria used to take long holidays to get away from the “provincial” high society in Vienna, only to form their own social circle, which was strikingly similar to the one they aimed to avoid. When the secretary of the Austrian embassy in Rome is replaced by one Cecil Sterzl, the arrival of the newcomer, together with his strikingly beautiful sister, gives rise to a social intrigue of love, betrayal and secrecy that will have a surprising impact on the lives of all those involved.

Kirschner’s keen sense of observation and talent for psychologically sound characterizations often laced with a good dose of sarcasm will make this novel even more enjoyable. Whether you’re more interested in a genuine portrayal of the high society of old, a novel that describes the intrigues of love and social order, or just an amusing book to regard as a fun pastime, you’ll find Our Own Set to be all of those things and much more.

Price: Free

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