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Lucy Coatman, MLitt MA MA (University of St Andrews, Central European University) is a historian of 19th and early 20th century Austria who lives and works in Vienna. She is currently writing the first English language biography of Baroness Mary Vetsera. Recently, Lucy worked with Secrets d'Histoire for their forthcoming episode about the Mayerling incident and the Scottish Ballet for their production of The Scandal at Mayerling.


Born in England, studied in Scotland, yet I feel most at home in the old imperial capital of Vienna. I am somewhat concerned that I am one huge cliché due to my love of the four big S names: Sisi, Stefan Zweig, Strauss (of the Blue Danube fame) and Sachertorte. Other hobbies include musical theatre, ballet and very long walks around old cities.


I am fascinated by the nobility of 19th and early 20th century Austria and Bavaria from a biographical perspective. I am interested in reconstructing the every day, emotions, and familial relationships as well as friendships. My work focuses on the Mayerling incident, the Baltazzi-Vetsera family, Crown Prince Rudolf, Empress Zita, imperial memorabilia, propaganda and portraiture. I am represented by literary agent Rachel McMillan.

My work has included writing articles for history websites, magazines and journals, lecturing, as well as advising TV programmes and performers in theatre and ballet about the historical figures they are portraying. Prior to my historical studies, I trained and performed professionally as an actress. I very much welcome opportunities that offer the chance to combine these two areas, particularly as a dramaturg. Additionally, I am working on the project "Moriz Nähr - Photographer for Habsburg, Klimt and Wittgenstein. Catalogue Raisonné" at the Klimt-Foundation.







Forthcoming book: the first English language biography of Baroness Mary Vetsera


Forthcoming lecture: "Scandal in the House of Habsburg: the Mayerling Incident" (KIIS Study Abroad)

Forthcoming article: "Myth, misrepresentation, and truth in the life and death of Baroness Mary Vetsera" 

Forthcoming conference: 

"“Not worthy of becoming my successor”: Crown Prince Rudolf and the tragedy

of the Habsburg dynastic myth", Kings and Queens Conference, Uppsala University (Royal Studies Journal)

Most recent publication: "Ephemeral Images: Zita of Bourbon-Parma and Picture Postcards" (Royal Studies Journal, volume 10 issue 2)

Most recent lecture: "Scandal in the House of Habsburg: the Mayerling Incident" (History Indoors)

Most recent conference: "The Last Empress: The Transitions, Images and Functions of Zita of Bourbon-Parma, 1911-1922", Kings and Queens Conference, Nantes University (Royal Studies Journal)

Like what I do? You can support me on ko-fi!

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