Balint Abady is forced to part from the beautiful and unhappily married Adrienne Uzdy. Laszlo Gyeroffy is rapidly heading for self-destruction through drink and his own fecklessness. The politicians, quarrelling among themselves and stubbornly ignoring their countrymen's real needs, are still pursuing their vendetta with the Habsburg rule from Vienna. Meanwhile they fail to notice how the Great Powers - through such events as Austria's annexation of Bosnia-Herzagovina in 1908 - are moving ever closer to the conflagration of 1914-1918 that will destroy their world for ever. Banffy's portrait contrasts a life of privilege and corruption with the lives and problems of an expatriate Romanian peasant minority whom Balint tries to help. It is an unrivalled evocation of a rich and fascinating aristocratic world oblivious of its impending demise.
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Number of pages: 450
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 195 x 130 x 39 mm
'One of the most celebrated and ambitious classics of Hungarian literature'-- Jan Morris
'A genuine case of a rediscovered classic. The force of Banffy's enthusiasm produces an effect rather like that of the best Trollope novels - but coming from a past world that now seems excitingly exotic'* TLS *
'My great find of the year is a reprint of the magnificent trilogy, set in pre-war Transylvania by Miklos Banffy ... which stands comparison with the great Russian and French masters. Banffy vies with Tolstoy for sweep, Pasternak for romance and Turgenev for evocation of nature; his fiction is packed with irresistible social detail and crammed with superb characters: it is gloriously, addictively, compulsively readable'-- Caroline Moor * Books of the Year, Seven *
'A very romantic book set in Transylvania during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before the First World war. It's full of balls and hunting parties, snow and politics. It's totally absorbing and I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy'-- Martha Kearney * My Six Best Books, Daily Express *
'A masterpiece. This very readable translation makes a wonderful book accessible to many more people'* New Statesman *
'This epic Hungarian novel, absorbing both for its exploration of human nature and its study of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire ... weaves social and political themes into Banffy's powerful tale'* Daily Telegraph *
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