Harrach. Familienangelegenheiten

Silvia Hölbl
2010 unpublished
In the context of historical reappraisal, a micro-historical investigation of familial relationships in the House of Harrach in the 19th and 20th centuries will play a part in addressing the dearth of research into the Austrian nobility. As a case history, such a study offers coherent insights into the familial domain, casting light on the many and varied life situations and perceptions of individual protagonists. The task and the objective of the study is to reconstruct patterns of
more » ... s and behaviour whilst documenting emotional states and spheres of activity. The introductory section provides a broad overview of the culture of letter writing that prevailed in European circles especially in the 19th century. Interaction through correspondence in the House of Harrach is analysed for compliance with conventions and interpreted; archival materials of relevance to the study are examined and evaluated to gauge their plausibility and reliability. Letter sources provide the foundation for the main section, which clarifies relationship patterns, inter-family associations and emotional conduct in specific situations on the basis of examples of family affairs during the period 1870 to 1943. By taking differing approaches, examples that serve to illustrate day-to-day realities, ways of life and relationships aim to impart a general impression of the family structure. Accordingly, the research is focused on the actions and reactions of the relevant personages in the various strata. The reconstruction of the illness of Marie Margarethe (wife of Count Johann Nepomuk of Harrach) charts not only the relational status of the couple, but also the discretion, anxiety and care subsequently exhibited by the family. Types of treatment that ultimately failed to remedy the situation are portrayed, along with the closeness of support and the frantic efforts of Johann Nepomuk to render assistance. Special attention is paid to the mourning and bereavement process, particularly as experienced by her husband, upon her death in 1870 [...]
doi:10.25365/thesis.11396 fatcat:4owlcrrnzrgsbi5agguugy4dnq