A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
The Habsburg Empire was a ramshackle, lumbering old giant centered in the Danube Valley that held a central place in European politics from the Middle Ages to the end of WW I, ruled by the dominant dynasty of Europe for four centuries, the Habsburg family. Winder set out to wander through the lands that used to constitute the Empire, describing and reflecting on what he sees now, particularly in terms of the appearance of villages, towns, and cities, and what he knows through his research as to how things used to look when the Habsburgs held sway. The sentiment around which he builds his colorful narrative is that the longevity of the Habsburg dynasty was due to a mix of cunning, dimness, luck, and brilliance. (About one particular archduke, Winder says, he was one of the Habsburgs who make the family worthwhile, who make up for all the pious timeservers who congest the family tree.) This personalized, almost you-are-there view of history results in an arresting combination of anecdote and scholarly examination, where the interests of serious armchair travelers and devoted students of European history meet.--Brad Hooper, Booklist
New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2014.
First American edition.
xiii, 551 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,24 cm