In 1913 a young second lieutenant discovers the terrible danger of pity. He had no idea the girl was lame when he asked her to dance -- his compensatory afternoon calls relieve his guilt but give her a dangerous glimmer of hope.Stefan Zweig's only novel is a devastating depiction of the torment of the betrayalof both honour and love, realised against the background of the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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