And it was there, on their first evening, as they lounged among the elegant, cosmopolitan crowd waiting for the gong to be rung for dinner, that Thomas's attention was drawn to a nearby Polish family, which consisted, in the momentary absence of the mother (who, like the Archduchess of Austria
, appears to have been an adept of the delayed entrance), of three starchily outfitted daughters and one very young son.
This year's performances were subdivided into drama, dance, and music, including crossover pieces, and were staged at diverse venues ranging from the "blue collar" Sofiensale theater, normally a dance hall, to the magnificent Burgtheater built by Maria Theresa, archduchess of Austria
and queen of Hungary and Bohemia.
Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria
and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, was the daughter of Charles VI (1711-1740), Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and last of the male line of the Hapsburgs.
In 1796 the Little Corporal had married Jos ephine Beauharnais, but Napoleon divorced his wife, the first empress, when it became clear that she could not provide him with an heir, and he married Marie Louise, archduchess of Austria