Book Review | Letter From An Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig

Updated: Jul 28

Birth: November 28, 1881, Austria

Death: February 22, 1942, Brazil


Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig - 1922

Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, Austria. In addition to being a novelist; was also a playwright, journalist and biography writer. His recognition in the world of literature provided with stories like The Burning Secret, Chess, Fear, Amok, Confusion...


I would like to share with you today; Letter From An Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig.



A neatly-written ‘long’ short story from a century ago. The whole book passes by reading the letter of the woman, our main character I enjoyed author’s simple style of narrative and depiction of the characters. It reads easily like a calmly flowing river. I found it hard to sympathize with the two main characters, though. An unnamed young woman, who spent her whole life with an irrational obsession, which she though was love for a renowned unnamed author, who lived a playboy like lifestyle, and didn’t even know the woman in person. Despite all this, if you think love is possible, this book is to be read with your emotions and your heart. With clinical analysis, it falls apart. It is for this reason I am not going to analyze the story. All you need to know is that the setting is Vienna in the late 1800s. The kind of love which, if it doesn’t bloom, it kills and gets killed, ending up in a Waterloo that only big ideas can cause.



In my inmost heart, the depths of my unconscious nature, my old childhood dream that one day you might yet summon me to you, if only for an hour, lived on. And for the possibility of that one hour I rejected all else, so that I would be free to answer your first call." /Stefan Zweig
I speak only to you; for the first time I will tell you everything, the whole story of my life, a life that has always been yours although you never knew it./Stefan Zweig
“I will tell you the whole story of my life, and it is a life that truly began only on the day I met you. Before that, there was nothing but murky confusion into which my memory never dipped again, some kind of cellar full of dusty, cobwebbed, sombre objects and people.” /Stefan Zweig
“But I see nothing miraculous about it. Nothing makes one as healthy as happiness, and there is no greater happiness than making someone else happy.” /Stefan Zweig
And because I felt her touching on my secret with derision, the blood rose to my cheeks more warmly than ever./Stefan Zweig

“Had never been more of a stranger to you than at that moment...”

“To you, who never knew me,” which was both a salutation and a challenge. He stopped for a moment in surprise: was this letter really addressed to him or to some imaginary person?/Stefan Zweig
I think of it often now, and I don’t understand myself at that time, because what do women still know about their girlish hearts that believed in miracles, whose dreams are like delicate little white flowers that will be blown away at the first breath of reality?/Stefan Zweig
Nothing makes one as healthy as happiness, and there is no greater happiness than making someone else happy./Stefan Zweig
Do not be afraid of my words; a dead woman wants nothing any more, neither love nor pity nor comfort./Stefan Zweig

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