Zweig wrote novels and short stories, but also many biographies, of which his most famous is probably the one of Maria Stuart. This was published in German as Maria Stuart and in English as (The) Queen of Scots or Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. At one time he was published in the English language under the pseudonym "Stephen Branch" (a translation of his real name), when feeling against German names was running high.
Born in Vienna, Zweig studied philosophy and the history of literature. Being a Jew, he fled Austria in 1934. He was famously defended by the composer Richard Strauss who refused to remove Zweig's name (as librettist) from the posters for the premiere, in Dresden, of his opera Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). This led to Hitler refusing to come to the premiere as planned; the opera was banned after three performances.
Zweig then lived in England (in Bath and London), before moving to the USA then in 1941 Brazil, where he and his wife Lotte died in a joint suicide in Petropolis, despairing at the future of Europe and its culture. "I think it better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labour meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on earth."
There are significant Zweig collections at the British Library (BL) and at Fredonia College, State University of New York (SUNY). The BL Zweig collection, given to the library by its trustees in May 1986, includes a wide range of items of surprising variety and rarity, among them Mozart's own Verzeichnüss, that is, the composer's own handwritten thematic catalogue of his works.
Novels and short stories include: