- Publisher: Allen & Unwin
- Format: Hardback | 464 pages
- Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 36mm | 873g
- Publication date: 1 July 2012
- Publication City/Country: St Leonards
- ISBN 10: 1743310048
- ISBN 13: 9781743310045
- Illustrations note: Illustrations (some col.), geneal. table, ports.
- Sales rank: 100,930
In 1900 Vienna was one of the most exciting places to live in the world. Its glamorous high society was the envy of Europe, and it was the centre of an exploding arts movement that set the tone for the following century. Tim Bonyhady's family were leading patrons of the arts in fin de siecle Vienna: Gustav Klimt painted his great-grandmother's portrait, Josef Hoffmann designed their lavish residence and Gustav and Alma Mahler were close acquaintances. In Good Living Street Bonyhady follows the lives of three generations of women in his family in an intimate account of fraught relationships, romance, and business highs and lows. They enjoyed a lifestyle of unimaginable luxury and privilege until the rise of Nazism made their existence in Austria untenable. In 1938, as Kristallnacht was raging, his family fled Vienna for a small flat in Australia, taking with them the best private collection of art and design to escape the Nazis. As they remade their lives as refugees, the past was rarely discussed and fifty years passed before Tim discovered the remarkable arc of his family's fortunes.
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Tim Bonyhady is an art historian and environmental lawyer. Since 2004 he has been director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law at the Australian National University. His many books include Images in Opposition: Australian Landscape Painting 1801-1890, Places Worth Keeping, Conservationists, Politics and Law and The Colonial Earth which won the NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History and the Queensland Premier's Prize for History. In 2013 he will be a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.
'The two books that I think have given me the most straightforward pleasure this year are P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters and Tim Bonyhady's rich and enthralling Good Living Street. Of both one could say: "They needed to be written."' Alexander Waugh 'A delightful read, with obvious appeal for fans of The Hare with Amber Eyes.' The Bookseller 'A captivating tour-de-force.' Art Monthly 'Behind the glamour and wealth depicted in a Gustav Klimt painting lies an absorbing family story about the struggle to win social acceptance.' The Sydney Morning Herald '[Good Living Street] tells a riveting three-generational family story without sentimentality that, because of the meticulousness of the research, displays a whole society to us, with habits, lifestyles, attitudes and aspirations so different from ours... It is essentially an essay on the human spirit, with all its angularities and complexities.' Australian Literary Review