Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) was born and died in Vienna. He was raised in a middle-class family, his father being a prominent throat specialist among whose patients were many of the leading actors and singers of his time. Schnitzler attended the exclusive Academisches Gymnasium and began writing when a young boy, but seemed set to follow his father into medicine, qualifying as a doctor in 1885. He was very interested in psychiatry and experimented with hypnosis, and some scholars believe that he anticipated some of Freud's ideas. In 1903 he married the actress Olga Gussman, with whom he had two children.
Schnitzler's writings challenged contemporary bourgeois morality, and as a result of this he endured a great deal of personal abuse. His work suffered under the Nazi regime, but since the sixties interest in it has revived. He wrote some twenty-three full length and ten one-act plays, and many prose works.