Women's Speaker Series: Allison Pataki, author of Sisi, Empress on Her Own

Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 7 pm

Women's Speaker Series: Allison Pataki, author of Sisi, Empress on Her Own, May 24, 2016

Fee: $30/$25 members - includes an autographed copy of Sisi: Empress on Her Own, refreshments by MKELocalicious and admission to the sculpture garden. Bronze Optical invites you to arrive early to browse a diverse, vibrant selection of frames--mirror provided, of course!--while they clean and tighten the screws in your current eyewear. Register online or by phone at 414-446-8794.

Margy Stratton, founder and executive producer of Milwaukee Reads continues her series of events featuring writers of particular interest to women.

Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, Bronze Optical, and Boswell Books welcome Allison Pataki, author of Sisi: Empress on Her Own, to the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Tuesday, May 24, 7-9 pm.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki’s highly anticipated new novel Sisi: Empress on Her Own picks up right where her previous novel, The Accidental Empress, left off while completely standing on its own. Sisi reveals the utterly captivating story behind of one of history’s most fascinating—and yet, relatively unknown—leading ladies, Empress Elisabeth (“Sisi”) of mid-19th century Austria-Hungary. She was recognized as the “most beautiful woman in the world,” but it was her wit, intelligence, charisma, and fight to save her empire that made her a legend in her own time.

While Vienna’s court halls buzzed with waltzes and champagne, as well as temptation, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue, the intensely personal tale of Empress Sisi unraveled. The Princess Diana of her time, Sisi was politically savvy, embraced progressive ideals, was a mother of four and the wife of the world’s most powerful emperor, Franz Joseph (whom she unintentionally stole away from her sister), making her reign anything but simple.

Against the glittering backdrop of the Habsburg Court and the rich, romantic, and volatile time period—marked by pivotal events such as the opening of the Suez Canal, Vienna’s World Exhibition, and the lead up to WWI—Sisi won and broke hearts and fought battles both epic and poignantly intimate as a woman well ahead of her time during a true Golden Age in European history. All this and more helped to cement Sisi in her peoples’ minds and hearts as the most enchanting, most iconic, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”

For Pataki, there’s a very personal connection to this time period; her family history traces back to the very empire she depicts. While traveling through Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, she kept noticing images of the same beautiful woman everywhere—from gift shops and museums to hotel and restaurants. That woman turned out to be Sisi, the most beloved of the Hapsburg Empresses. What started off as mere curiosity quickly became Pataki’s passion, and ultimately, the inspiration behind Sisi.

About the Author

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. The daughter of former New York State governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write about Sisi by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary. She graduated cum laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization ReConnect Hungary, regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, and is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.


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