Yesterday, while procrastinating more than usual, I was scrolling through my Instagram, when I came across a post by Royal Ballet danseur Steven McRae about the release of the DVD for Mayerling . I didn’t know the ballet, which meant I had an opportunity to procrastinate even more by looking it up. I had no idea who Mayerling was, but the photo had a Hamlet vibe, so I thought maybe I could somehow work it into my IRL job. (Yes, a ballet in my classroom. These kids have to get culture somehow).
But as I read the Wikipedia article describing the storyline, it felt so familiar. It wasn’t until the end that I realized that I had read about this incident before. Mayerling isn’t a who. It’s a place.
The ballet, though long and winding, is ultimately about the murder-suicide of the Crown Prince of Austria and his eighteen year old lover, Mary Vetsera. To this day, there is a great deal of mystery about the whole incident–an incident that eventually led to the fall of the Hapsbergs, and one could argue, WWI.
Fascinated, I dug around a little. There are few non-fiction works dealing with the affair, and though operas, manga, and the movie The Illusionist are about the it, only one fiction work deals with the incident directly. And that’s by an author I like, so my TBR just got little bigger.
My writer senses were, and still are, tingling. It’s not the typical fodder for ERom. There’s no potential for a HEA or even a HFN, but still, there’s something so intriguing about the idea of passion that leads to demise, kind of like Romeo and Juliet, but without the teen angst.
I don’t know where this will lead, if anywhere. But I’ve ordered the one NF book about it. It could be that in the end, I have nothing more than random trivia knowledge that may only help me win a bar quiz.
Or I might have a new story. Only time will tell.