Each year, Beatrice, a young widow, returns with her adored son Hugo to the fashionable spa resort in the mountains where she relives the blissful moments she shared with her flamboyant actor husband, Ferdinand. But this summer is different. Overcome by a sense of oppression Beatrice finds relief in an intensely sensuous yet dangerous liaison. It is only when she realises her son Hugo's miserable plight that her vision of the world and the past is brutally and irrevocably transformed. Schnitzler's work, which includes the famous play La Ronde and the novella Dream Story, challenged contemporary bourgeois morality and was immensely controversial. A master of psychological extremes and erotic suggestion, Schnitzler cast a sharp, perceptive eye on the moods and intrigues, and the affairs and betrayals, of middle- and upper-class Viennese society at the turn of the century.