A Belgian writer and performer with a huge following around Europe, Bart Van Loo brings an energy and pace to a rollicking history of the state of Burgundy which incorporates an unforgettable cast of vibrant, eccentric and Machiavellian figures in a riveting dance for power and influence.
A publishing phenomenon in Europe, where it has sold 230,000 copies in hardback, Bart Van Loo's epic history of the dukedom of Burgundy has the grip of a great historical novel and the fascination of a wonderful factual narrative.
At the end of the fifteenth century, Burgundy was extinguished as an independent state. It had been a fabulously wealthy, turbulent region situated between France and Germany, with close links to the English kingdom. Torn apart by the dynastic struggles of early modern Europe, this extraordinary realm vanished from the map. But it became the cradle of what we now know as the Low Countries, modern Belgium and the Netherlands.
This is the story of a thousand years, a compulsively readable narrative history of ambitious aristocrats, family dysfunction, treachery, savage battles, luxury and madness. It is about the decline of knightly ideals and the awakening of individualism and of cities, the struggle for dominance in the heart of northern Europe, bloody military campaigns and fatally bad marriages. It is also a remarkable cultural history, of great art and architecture and music emerging despite the violence and the chaos of the tension between rival dynasties.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 608
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Bart van Loo is in top form. The Burgundians reads like a train and hits you like a sledgehammer. A masterpiece ... He does not try to be a wise man or a moralist. What he does make clear is that that the history of early Dutch unification is one that came about both through excessive bloodshed and praiseworthy magnanimity. Mission accomplished' - De Morgen
'To narrate the legendary story of the dukes of Burgundy, you need a learned and visionary guide like Bart Van Loo ... A masterful work' - Le Figaro
'A pleasure to read from start to finish. How fortunate that Van Loo is not just a historian but also a writer. Truly spectacular!' - Neue Zuricher Zeitung
'The political and the personal, economics and culture, belief and violence, success and failure, major developments and spicy details - it's all there. The Burgundians expertly draws on the latest scientific insights, but is also told with lightness and elegance' - Frits van Oostrom
'The formidable saga of our Burgundian origins. Over 650 pages that read like a great political adventure novel, a Game of Thrones soap opera where everything is true' - La Libre Belgique
'Full of cliff hangers and moving passages. Irresistible' - Herman Pleij
'Bart van Loo is back and emerges once again as a true storyteller. Van Loo is the perfect guide through the past. It is as if we are there' - De Standaard
'A history book that reads like a thriller' - Le Soir
'Colourful and multidimensional: a Belgian master storyteller' - Kulturradio, SWR2
'Narrative history of the highest level ... The author conjures the tastes, smells, colours and feelings of the past' - Kulturradio, WDR 3
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