Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Suttner from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

Bertha Suttner 1843–1914 née Kinsky Baroness von Suttner Austrian writer & pacifist


Summary Article: Suttner, Bertha F(elicie) S(ophie) von, Baroness from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Austrian writer editor and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1905 for her peace activities.

Baroness Suttner was one of the first female political journalists and won an international reputation at the beginning of the 20th century for her activities in the cause of peace. Throughout her life she popularized the quest for peace through her novels, correspondence, and journalism, through the pacifist journal she edited, and through her activities in peace societies and her lecture tours of Europe and the USA. She founded the International Peace League whose journal she edited from 1894 to 1900.

Born in Prague in 1843, shortly before the death of her father, Count Franz Kinsky, Bertha was well educated and widely travelled. After the loss of her family's fortunes she trained as a singer but worked as a secretary to Alfred Nobel, the dynamite manufacturer. She then became governess to the von Suttner family in Vienna, eloping to the Caucasus in 1877 with her pupil's older brother, Baron Arthur von Suttner. He worked as an engineer while she wrote novels and short stories. They returned to Austria in 1885 and she lectured to the London International Peace Association. The publication of her greatest pacifist work, Die Waffen nieder/Lay Down Your Arms (1889), caused controversy throughout Europe and influenced Alfred Nobel to institute the peace prize which she subsequently became the first woman to win. The book exposed the cruel realities of war, rather than glorifying heroism. Her memoirs were published in 1909.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von (Countess Kinsky)
Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers

(1843–1914) Austria Eminent international pacifist, political journalist, and novelist on social issues, Suttner became a prime mover in the...

Full text Article Suttner, Bertha von (1843 - 1914)
The Penguin Biographical Dictionary of Women

One of the first women to be a prominent pacifist, Bertha von Suttner is credited with persuading Alfred Nobel to include a...

Full text Article Suttner, Bertha Félicie Sophie Freifrau von
Chambers Biographical Dictionary

née Kinsky 1843-1914 Czech (Austro-Hungarian) novelist and Nobel Prize winner She was born in Prague, of Bohemian descent, the daughter of an imperia

See more from Credo