Lotharingia: A Personal History of France, Germany and the Countries In-Between (Paperback)
  • Lotharingia: A Personal History of France, Germany and the Countries In-Between (Paperback)
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Lotharingia: A Personal History of France, Germany and the Countries In-Between (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 576 Pages / Published: 20/02/2020
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Waterstones Says

In this humorous and erudite slice of European History, the author of Germania takes his readers on a riveting tour around Lotharingia – the ancient territory between France and Germany.

At the heart of western Europe lies a huge swath of land, stretching from the mud and fogs of the North Sea coast, down through countless market towns, ports, fortresses and ancient cathedrals, through a mass of river systems and forests, all the way to the great barrier of the Alps. Divided by their languages, religions and frontiers, everyone living there shares one thing: that they are inhabitants of a lost part of Europe - Lotharingia.

In his highly entertaining new book Simon Winder tells the story of this ghostly but persistent presence. In AD 843, the three surviving grandsons of the great Emperor Charlemagne met at Verdun. After years of bitter squabbles over who would inherit the family land, they finally decided to divide the territory and go their separate ways. In a moment of staggering significance, one grandson inherited what became France, another Germany and the third Lotharingia, the chunk that initially divided the other two chunks: `the lands of Lothar'. The dynamic between these three great zones has dictated much of our subsequent fate.

Lotharingia is a history of this in-between land and joins the equally fascinating Germania and Danubia in Simon Winder's personal exploration of Europe. In this beguiling, hilarious and compelling book we retrace how both from west and from east any number of ambitious characters have tried and failed to grapple with these people. Over many centuries, not only has Lotharingia brought forth many of Europe's greatest artists, inventors and thinkers, but it has also reduced many a would-be conqueror to helpless tears of rage and frustration.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509803262
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 356 g
Dimensions: 196 x 131 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"A master of the art of making history both funny and fun . . . Once again he brings Germany bouncing back to life." - Simon Jenkins, author of A Short History of Europe

"Winder is our guide with delicious festive wit, and equal erudition -- Diarmaid MacCulloch." - Tablet 

"Weird and wonderful . . . No Briton has written better than Winder about Europe." - Daniel Johnson, Sunday Times

"There is so much fascinating detail in this book that it is hard to put down." - Michael Burleigh, author of The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: A History of Now

"Winder looks afresh at the long arc of European history, with its perpetual interplay between defiant local units and grandiose attempts at unifying schemes." - Stephen Moss, Guardian

"The high plateau of my year was my catching up with Simon Winder. Danubia and Germania are an idiosyncratic, often funny fusion of history writing, travel writing and disrespect." - Sir Tom Stoppard, TLS

"Brings to mind PJ O'Rourke's Holidays in Hell or anything by Bill Bryson." - Gerard DeGroot, The Times 

"A heady blend of jolly travel stories, weird German aristocrats, obscure baroque altarpieces and horrendous sectarian massacres. There are plenty of serious points here, but Winder never forgets that history is meant to be fun." - Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times, Best History Books of the year 2019

'An absolutely wonderful hybrid of hilarious travel writing and incisive historical analysis . . . Lotharingia follows on the acclaimed Danubia and Germania.' - Quillette

'It's not so much history, as a long cultural tour, led by a brilliantly witty guide . . . There are a great many jokes and irreverent hoots, in case everything gets too earnest.' - The New York Review of Books

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“LONG LOST LOTHARINGIA”

A splendid book. On a par with the two previous of Simon Winders excellent books, Germania and Danubia.
This exciting book reveals 2000 years of history for a part of Europe which is now -
Belgium
The Netherlands... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 39

“A mixture of serious history and knockabout comedy”

A mixture of serious history and knockabout comedy
This is the third of Simon Winder’s books on European history, following “Germania” and “Danubia”. I have been interested in this area of history since “A” Levels,... More

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