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The Habsburgs, The Rise and Fall of a World Power


Martin Rady

From modest origins, the Habsburgs grew in power to gain control of the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century.

Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe stretching from Hungary to Spain, and from the Far East to the New World. The family continued to dominate Central Europe until the catastrophe of the First World War. With its seemingly disorganized mass of large and small territories, its tangle of laws and privileges and its medley of languages, the Habsburg Empire has always appeared haphazard and incomplete.

The Habsburg emperors were themselves absurdly varied in their characters – from warlords to contemplatives, from clever to stupid, from idle to frenzied – but all driven by the same sense of family mission.
The Habsburgs is the definitive history of a remarkable dynasty that, for better or worse, shaped Europe and the world.

A readable and entertaining  account of such an important part of Europe and its rulers. The book follows the Habsburgs  from Kanzelin 991, Albert the Pig-Tailed 1298, via Charles II the Bewitched 1661,  Maria Theresa 1717 (mother of Marie Antoinette guillotined in French revolution), to Franz Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo 1914.

A fascinating and hugely important history.