A plaque for Stefan Zweig

It’s a pity the powers-that-be at English Heritage have rejected the idea of erecting a plaque at Stefan Zweig’s London address. I can’t say I’m convinced by their argument:

 Zweig’s “profile has never been as high in Britain as elsewhere”, and “it was felt that a critical consensus does not appear to exist at the moment regarding Zweig’s reputation as a writer and that, as a consequence, it was not possible to be certain of his lasting contribution”…

Zweig’s fellow authors were lining up behind [London University academic Rudiger] Görner to support the plaque for Zweig, with Tibor Fischer, Antonia Fraser, Ali Smith, [William] Boyd and [Antony] Beevor all throwing their names behind the campaign… Fraser, who called Zweig’s memoir, “The World of Yesterday”, an “extraordinary book”, said that “one of the things about London is that we welcome refugee writers…”

But at least Rosemount, his home in Bath, already has a plaque, erected by admirers in the 1990s. Zweig bought the villa in 1939, seduced by the views across Widcombe:

Married in 1939, the newly weds settled at Rosemount… where they lived among Zweig’s most treasured amulets: Beethoven’s desk, a Mozart song, and – a new acquisition – the score of “An die Musik”. A lecture in Paris… about his lost Vienna led Zweig to begin work on his wonderful, if somewhat imaginative, autobiography: “The World of Yesterday”.

Like his house in Petropolis, Rosemount commands a striking hillside view. The current owner very kindly allowed to take a look around when I was researching my recent Sunday Times feature. (It was a journey back onto my home turf as well. My dad lived nearby, and my primary school — now an artisan’s workshop – is at the bottom of the hill.)

I’ve already posted another photo of the Petropolis house, now re-named Casa Stefan Zweig, as well as a shot of the cemetery in Petropolis. And here, at the bottom of my original Zweig post,  is the view from CSZ’s veranda.

[H/T Sebastian Scotney]

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: www.facebook.com/clive.davis.10 Instagram: clivephotos
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