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Behind Marianne’s investigation lies one of my own. This Metatext presents that investigation in the form of an intellectual journey and details my reflections on fact vs. fiction in the narrative. The Metatext works in parallel with the narrative.

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Chapter 7 – Hunting as aristocratic entertainment
For many centuries, hunting was the main leisure activity of the Viennese aristocracy; the city was surrounded by thick gamy forests. Most of the Emperors, including Karl VI and Franz Stephan, were passionate hunters. The ladies of the court also appreciated it as a form of entertainment and many of them were experienced in huntsmanship, with both Empresses Maria Theresa and Elisabeth Christine, her mother, having been sharpshooters...
Chapter 12 – Theatrical performance in the Imperial family circle
The Imperial children were involved in public events from an early age. They participated in gala events at court and in religious ceremonies and gave formal audiences to the ambassadors. A series of festivities, balls, receptions, theatrical performances, gala dinners and more were on the programme. On such occasions, proper behaviour following the fixed court etiquette was absolutely required...
Chapter 16 – Hofburg palace garden
In the 18th century, the Innere Stadt, or the historical core of the city, was surrounded with bastions – massive soil embankments as the basis of the fortifications. The medieval city wall still existed and limited the free area even more. This is why the palace garden was rather modest, incomparable with the magnificent park design of Schönbrunn...
Chapter 20 – Marianne’s confession
Throughout the narrative, I have been sketching Marianne’s psychological portrait. There have been several references to her strenuous family relations. Now, in the presence of her confessor, though not in the format of a religious confession, she pours out all the anxiety gathered in her heart...
Chapter 22 – A crime! A crime!
Marianne is an unusual investigator. Her efforts commence with zero belief that any offence has been committed. Furthermore, she is rather reluctant to look askance at the people involved. Indeed, she has all manner of reasons to interpret the evidence and circumstances in their favour...
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