The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power (Hardback)
  • The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power (Hardback)
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The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power (Hardback)

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£30.00
Hardback 416 Pages / Published: 12/05/2020
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Waterstones Says

Colourful and exciting, Rady’s authoritative account of the spectacular rise and ignominious fall of the Habsburg Empire encompasses huge swathes of European history and a cast of truly remarkable characters. 

In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world it built - and then lost - over nearly a millennium.

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. But here Martyn Rady shows the reasons for the family's incredible endurance, driven by the belief that they were destined to rule the world as defenders of the Roman Catholic Church, guarantors of peace and patrons of learning. 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. Scattered around the world, countless buildings, institutions and works of art continue to bear witness to their overwhelming impact.

The Habsburgs is the definitive history of a remarkable dynasty that, for better or worse, shaped Europe and the world.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241332627
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 685 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'The Habsburgs is gripping, colorful, and dramatic but also concise, scholarly, and magisterial. Martyn Rady recounts the story of Europe's greatest dynasty that ruled an empire, on which the sun never set, from Peru to the Philippines. Revealing a key player in world history for almost a thousand years, The Habsburgs is a chronicle of high politics and family intimacy involving religion, murder, incest, madness, suicide, assassination. History on an epic scale!' - Simon Sebag Montefiore

'The Habsburgs - ambitious, illustrious, and at times incestuous - were once Europe's foremost royal family. Rady tells their story with verve and authority, casting a curious eye over their eccentricities and peccadilloes while all the time revealing their extraordinary influence and global vision. A fascinating read!' - Alexander Watson

'This is a first global history of Europe's most famous and durable dynasty, chronicling its exploits with great panache over nearly a millennium of rule across wide swathes of the continent and beyond. Martyn Rady writes incisively and judiciously, drawing on much recent international scholarship in a range of languages to illustrate multiple facets of Habsburg governance in theory and practice. At the same time his text is accessible and entertaining, his ready wit providing a delectable counterpoint to the notorious humourlessness of so many of the dynasts he examines.' - Robert Evans

'A tour de force. Thorough, accessible, and resolutely erudite, this is the volume that this vitally important subject so desperately needed. Martyn Rady should be congratulated.' - Roger Moorhouse

'Martyn Rady has written a splendid account of the grandest old dynasty of Europe: the Habsburgs. With wit and firm opinion, he takes the reader on something akin to a tour of the Wunderkammer of the dynasty's many-centuries-long career. Including vampires, an empress's waist size, and cocaine-laced health drinks, Rady's narrative glitters with apt quotes and telling, often ironic details.' - Steven Beller

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“Essential for any visit to Central Europe”

I have been fascinated by the Habsburg Monarchy for decades and have travelled extensively over their territories. This book gives the background to their rise to power and their failure to create a lasting political... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

“A fascinating family”

The Habsburgs are a fascinating family. I've read historical fictions of some of the more famous Habsburgs but I haven't read a non-fiction about the dynasty. Martyn Rady has put together a wonderful... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 10

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